SHOWS: SOFIA, BULGARIA (OCTOBER 15, 2019) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ENGLAND MANAGER, GARETH SOUTHGATE, SAYING: "When I've talked to the players at the end, I think they still feel that, they've been able to make a statement.
But they also naturally, because they want to be recognized for their football, they were playing so well that they didn't want to leave the pitch at that moment as well and I'm sure that would have part of their thinking.
So I'm incredibly proud of all the players and all of the staff.
Of course, we could be criticised for not going far enough, but I think we've made a huge statement and frankly, we were in an impossible situation to get it right to the satisfaction of everybody." STORY: England made a significant statement against racism by beating Bulgaria 6-0 in a Euro 2020 qualifier that was twice halted by the referee after abuse of the visiting players, manager Gareth Southgate said on Monday (October 14).
The match in Sofia was a high-profile implementation of a three-step protocol from European soccer's governing body UEFA designed to tackle racist abuse from the crowd.
England centre-back Tyrone Mings, who was making his senior debut and brought Southgate's attention to the first incident after being targeted, said the players had made a collective decision to continue after halftime.