John Barnes: I am not a fan of players walking off, but England made decision and should have stuck to their guns
I don’t think walking off the pitch is the right thing to do. But that’s what England decided they were going to do, so l supported them. Having decided that you walk off at hearing racist abuse, the three-step Uefa protocol must be adhered to.
We got to that first step, and then [the game] was stopped a second time. But then, in the second half, it was decided ‘we are not going to walk off now’. If the racism stopped at the second stoppage, then fine, but it didn’t. The racism continued in the second half. Why didn’t they walk off?
Either we do it properly and we say we follow the three-step protocol. If it doesn’t stop, then we need to abandon the match. The alternative is don’t do it at all. In the first half England complained. In the second, they didn’t. It was still going on. Why didn’t they complain again?
That’s the issue I have: I don’t agree with walking off but if that’s what they’ve agreed on, I will back them if it’s followed through. If you are going to do it, do it properly.
I’ve been on record to say this is not the way to stop racism because the Bulgarians’ racist fans don’t care if the team gets kicked out or fined. They are not necessarily punishing the racists. The way football can influence perception is much more complex.
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