Ex-Sunderland footballers Jordan Henderson and Jordan Pickford condemn racist chanting at England's Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria

Sunderland-born England stars Jordan Henderson and Jordan Pickford are among those who have spoken out after racist chanting halted the national team's Euro 2020 qualifier on Monday, October 14.

Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 8:23 am
Updated Tuesday, 15th October 2019, 10:31 am
England footballers Jordan Henderson, left, and Jordan Pickford. Pictures: PA.
England footballers Jordan Henderson, left, and Jordan Pickford. Pictures: PA.

England cruised to a 6-0 win in the game against Bulgaria, held in the country’s capital city of Sofia – but this was after the match was paused twice in the first half due to racist behaviour in the stands.

Some supporters had to be warned about their conduct inside the stadium, prompting fans, footballers and politicians alike to call for “tough action” from UEFA in stamping out such behaviour in the game.

England goalkeeper Jordan Pickford and midfielder Jordan Henderson took to social media following the match to thank fans for their backing and made calls of their own for a change in attitude.

Both men, who play for Everton and Liverpool respectively, were born on Wearside and began their careers at Sunderland AFC.

Henderson tweeted: “Absolutely disgusted to have witnessed the behaviour of some of the crowd tonight but so proud of every single one of our players and staff.

“We stand together. Thanks to all of our travelling fans for your support.”

Pickford added: “Good win under difficult circumstances. There is absolutely no place for scenes like that. Proud of the team tonight.”

MPs have also made joint calls to European football’s governing body to come down hard on Bulgaria in the wake of the match.

Sports Minister Nigel Adams hailed the behaviour as “disgusting” and said it must be stamped out across the sport.