Saturday 25 May 2019

Callum Hudson-Odoi calls for end to ‘evil’ racist abuse

The Chelsea winger was subjected to abuse while playing for England in Montenegro.

Callum Hudson-Odoi (John Walton/PA)
Callum Hudson-Odoi (John Walton/PA)

By Press Association Sport Staff

Callum Hudson-Odoi has called for an end to the “evil” racist abuse he was subjected to when playing for England in Montenegro.

Their 5-1 victory in Podgorica, which represented the Chelsea winger’s first international start, was overshadowed by racist chanting largely aimed at Hudson-Odoi and Danny Rose.

England reported the abuse to Uefa, but Tottenham’s Rose then described himself as “lost for words” when he learnt Montenegro’s punishment involved them playing their next match behind closed doors and a fine of £17,253.

Raheem Sterling had celebrated scoring by putting his hands to his ears in response to the abuse, while Rose has revealed that playing in those circumstances has made him look forward to retirement.

An object was also thrown onto the pitch in Podgorica, which Hudson-Odoi retrieved, and the 18-year-old wrote on The Players’ Tribune: “I don’t want to dwell on it too much, but the racial abuse that me, Raheem, Danny Rose and a few others got that day was unacceptable.

“To be hearing stuff from the crowd saying, ‘You’re a monkey’, or, ‘Ooh-ah-ah’. Stuff like that, for me it’s, why? Why do that evil? How can you even racially talk about someone else, or discriminate against them because they’re a different colour to you?

“If anything, the chants backfired. When it happened during the game, it didn’t put me off my game, but instead made me more motivated to beat them and make sure we won.

“I had so much respect for Raheem when he scored and did the celebration and the Instagram post after. But also, no player should ever go through the racism and discrimination Raheem has had to go through. It’s not right.”

The incident was the latest of its nature involving Sterling, 24, who suffered alleged racist abuse while playing at club level for Manchester City against Chelsea.

“Can we just please find a way to stop it in the game, and just in general?” Hudson-Odoi continued.

“Just everybody stop the racial abuse. I just want to live my life. I just want to play football and make my family proud.”

Press Association

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