Brighton & Hove Albion manager Chris Hughton praised The FA’s handling of the racist abuse suffered by England’s players in the European Championship qualifier against Montenegro on Monday night.
Raheem Sterling, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Danny Rose were all subjected to racist chanting, and Hughton felt Gareth Southgate and everyone connected to the England set-up dealt with it brilliantly.
He said, “I think the behaviour of the England players and the management was excellent.
“Credit to the England camp. What they could have done is not put up any of the black players for interviews afterwards. That wasn’t the case.
“They are very young – Sterling and Hudson-Odoi, even younger. And I thought Gareth Southgate spoke very well.
“This was Hudson-Odoi’s first international game. He played well, made one of the goals and then for a lot of his game to be remembered for the chanting and abuse the black players got is very – I don’t even know if ‘unfair’ is the word.
“What he would have wanted to do is come away from that stadium on a high.
“Unfortunately he comes away from that with most of the press being about the abuse that took place.”
The Albion manager urged the football authorities to hand out punishment befitting of the offence to prevent these sort of incidents from occuring again.
“The abuse that the players got wasn’t a surprise. It has happened before, and I think people were talking about the possibility of it even before the game.
“When it happened, it wasn’t a big surprise to me. The surprise you want now is for the correct authorities to clamp down on it properly, not give out easy fines.
“The only way you can really punish the perpetrators for me are by very heavy fines or make them play in empty stadiums.
“It has to be something that is a deterrent and that hasn’t been happening.”