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Hodgson praises England's reaction to racism in Bulgaria

18 October 2019

In his programme notes ahead of Crystal Palace's game with Manchester City, Roy Hodgson condemned the 'appalling racist behaviour' exhibited when the England national team played Bulgaria in Sofia.

And now, speaking in his pre-match press conference, Hodgson has turned his attention to the England squad, adding further comments that the Three Lions were 'quite brilliant'.

Asked for his opinion on England's decision to complete the game against Bulgaria - ultimately winning it 6-0 - Hodgson expressed his view that Gareth Southgate's men would not have achieved a great deal more by walking from the pitch.

He said: "I thought they were brilliant. I thought the players, the coaching staff, the people at the FA did everything right.

"I don’t know anything in particular would have been gained in them walking off the pitch, I don't think there would have been any more coverage or any more criticism if you like for the Bulgarians for the racist abuse the players suffered. I don't know if coming off the pitch would have changed that at all.

"Furthermore, as I've heard many people say and obviously agree with, when people are trying to upset you in that way by racially abusing you, you can’t really get a better answer in some ways than to beat them comprehensively like England did.

"I don't agree that it would have been better coming off and I don't think there would have been any more publicity than there has been or any more praise for England in the way they handled it. I can only add my word of praise alongside so many others. I thought they were quite brilliant."

Crystal Palace are supporting the Premier League's campaign, No Room For Racism. The campaign encourages fans to report abuse via the Kick It Out app or website or, at Crystal Palace, by texting 07507 477 669.

You can find out more about this campaign by clicking here.

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