Raheem Sterling and Jude Bellingham both came in for abuse during England’s win in Budapest and the Wales skipper has outlined his side’s stance in terms of leaving the field
Gareth Bale says Wales’ players are prepared to walk off the pitch if they suffer racist abuse.
The Red Dragons’ skipper hit out at the lack of action from the game’s governing bodies and warned that direct action could now be taken.
England’s players were targeted in Budapest and the Real Madrid star, asked if a walk-off was on the cards, replied: “If things don’t get sorted, it will happen.
“If it happened to any of our players and they wanted to walk off, I’d be fully for it.
“At the end of the day, football qualifiers are important but these matters come way above football.
The FA via Getty Images)
“So if it happened to any of us and we decided we weren’t getting the protection or being treated the right way – if the only way to get a response was to walk off, then yes, I’d be fully for it.
“It’s the right thing to do and it’s more important than football.
“As a group, we haven’t discussed it yet as we haven’t had too many issues but we would have that discussion if it happened and we’d all agree on it as we’re a team that sticks together and if anyone was being targeted, we’d do the right thing.”
Bale also launched a broadside at the length of time that both FIFA and Uefa take to conduct their probes into such incidents.
He added: “I don’t know why they launch these investigations. They take so long. It’s clear to see.
“It’s been picked up on camera, by journalists, I don’t really see why there needs to be such a big investigation.
“It’s clear it happened. It doesn’t matter if it’s a little or a lot. The action needs to be taken to stop it.
“The easiest thing to do – whether you ban fans from the stadium and if they keep doing it – which seems to be what’s happening, you ban the country from the competition.
“That kicks it out straightaway. If that country keeps making horrible gestures, then maybe the best thing to do is get right of them. Give them a suspension and they’ll learn their lesson that way.”
Caretaker boss Rob Page said: “It’s not acceptable. I’m sick and tired of having to sit here and answer the same questions.
“We shouldn’t be doing this now. We protect our players and fully support them in any way we can.
“Uefa and FIFA have to step up to the plate and do something. There needs to be severe consequences.
“The supporters of these teams need severe consequences. If that’s taking points off them, if that’s banning them from competitions, they need to make a stand now and back the black players out there.
“Make a stance, once and for all.”