"Let English football be a beacon of equality and send ripples around Europe' - Darren Moore on racism

Doncaster Rovers boss Darren Moore believes the English football community must get its own house in order over racism before even beginning to concern themselves with behaviour across the rest of the world.

Wednesday, 16th October 2019, 2:39 pm
Raheem Sterling, Kieran Trippier and Jordan Henderson speak with Bulgaria boss Krasimir Balakov

England's 6-0 win in Bulgaria on Monday night was marred by racist behaviour from sections of the home support including Nazi salutes and monkey chants, with the game stopped twice and the strong threat of the match being abandoned.

The incidents have generated strong debate on how to deal with nations whose supporters carry out racist behaviour with European governing body UEFA coming in for heavy criticism.

But Moore says there needs to be a focus domestically on setting the perfect example of how to deal with racism in the game which can then be spread internationally.

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Darren Moore

"The biggest thing we can do here is set a precedent for it all in how we conduct ourselves right here," he told the Free Press. "The message that we don't condone racism at any level of the game, any level.

"People might say it only happens once but once is enough - more than enough in fact.

"We need to keep setting our precedents high here and only when we eradicate it here will it then send messages across into Europe.

"We need to look after here first, be strong here first and then it will send ripples into Europe.

"We're looking over there but that is to be expected because they know no different.

"Here we've got to set it and educate people here.

"That was my take on Monday night, in what was very shameful scenes."

Moore believes there is sill plenty of work to be done on eradicating racism from English football.

Recent years have seen a growth in reported incidents, with social media becoming a forum for racist abuse.

But the Rovers boss believes social media can be a powerful tool in spreading the message and educating people on the issue - both in football and wider.

"Society is changing, everyone has got their own media at the push of a button," he said. "It's probably easier to get messages out there.

"The reason why there are so many racial incidents reported is because the media attention and scope and social network feeds are all over the place.

"The same way we can use social media as a negative, we can use it as a positive. It's easier to get positive messages out there.

"It's just all about everybody not being ignorant towards it and promoting equality and diversity right the way through the game.

"It's not just football, it's in society but we can use football to get the positive messages out into society.

"It's a powerful vehicle to use that."

Moore said he felt sorry for England debutant Tyrone Mings - who came in for plenty of abuse and was the first to report it to the match officials - as the Aston Villa defender's excellent performance went largely unreported with racism taking the headlines.

"We had a debutant that played absolutely fantastic," Moore said. "He brought balance to the team, the defence, good communicator, good organiser, good on the ball, solid, as good a debut as you've seen, in a hostile environment tells you the level that he's at.

"And all we spoke about was the situation.

"We didn't speak about him and the performance he put in. It was an exceptional performance and one that him and his family should be happy and proud of.

"It was a great outing and he's done himself the world of good for staking a place in that England team.

"Extending it to the team I thought the England manager and his staff and his team acquitted themselves very well. I think they played the game and won the game convincingly.

"I think they didn't want to leave the game in any doubt if it was cancelled. They wanted the game done.

"They knew what was coming, we knew what was coming. It's no surprise to us all. We don't have to put it out in the media but it was no surprise.

"FIFA will deal with them as a country as a whole and we move on.

"I think Gareth has done the right thing, get the job done, we;re almost qualified now, we don;t have to go back there.

"Let the powers that be deal with them and the sanctions will come, and I'm sure tough ones will come."