Paul Parker has urged UEFA to hit the Montenegro FA where it hurts after England players were subjected to racist abuse during their 5-1 victory in Podgorica on Monday night.
The Three Lions wrapped up their second Euro 2020 qualifying win in fine style, but sadly we are not talking about the football the morning after the match.
Instead, the focus has been on the racist chanting aimed at England’s black players throughout the clash.
There were suggestions of some issues early in the game, but it was clear in the closing stages as monkey chants were aimed at Danny Rose following a late tackle which earned him a yellow card.
Meanwhile, Raheem Sterling celebrated his fourth England goal in two games by turning to the Montenegro fans and cupping his ears.
Manchester City star Sterling has spoken out about racism in recent months and, speaking after the match, called for stronger punishment for such incidents.
Some have suggested players should leave the pitch in protest, but Parker insist that would send out the wrong message.
Speaking to talkSPORT, the former England and Manchester United defender said Sterling issued the perfect response, by sticking it to the racists with his performance on the pitch.
Asked how he responded to such abuse during his playing days, Parker told Tuesday’s Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast: “By getting myself more involved in the game and proving that it was better than anyone out there on the pitch, and that seemed to hurt them more.
“If I was to sulk, say I wanted to come off, show emotion, it would have made me feel like they are winning.
“They’re paying money to watch a black man on the football pitch, while I am out there’re getting paid and if I win I get more – so who’s the fool, me or them?
“My way of doing it was to stay out there and wipe more on them just to prove a point, ‘you’re not bothering me’.
“There were a lot of players during my time and we all had that mindset. There wasn’t any thought of any player walking off the pitch, because we would have felt that we were playing right into their hands.”
After Monday’s game, England manager Gareth Southgate vowed to report the incidents to UEFA and called for the governing body to exact ‘real punishment’ for the crimes.
In the past, teams whose fans have been found guilty of racially abusing players have been fined and ordered to play a match or matches behind closed doors.
But Parker insists those measures are useless in the fight against racism, saying deducting points and damaging a nation’s chances of qualifying for major tournaments is the ‘only way’ to get the message across.
“The only way to deal with a minority is to take away what they like,” he added.
“Take points away, affect those clubs or those football authorities, affect them by taking away points so they can’t have any opportunity to play in major competitions.
“Fines don’t do anything and closing stadiums is just a waste of time, because that affects the away fans. Those fans made an unbelievable trip to not one of the nicest places they’re ever going to visit, so you would be affecting them going to watch their national team play and that’s not fair on them.
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“We’d be allowing a minority to affect other people, and it shouldn’t be that way.
“My opinion, unless something can think of something better, is just take away points and keep going every time it happens until that football association is all of a sudden running at a massive loss.
“And then they might start realising that if there’s a chance football – the biggest and most loved sport in the world – could be taken away from them, clubs and politicians will start understanding they’ve got to do something about it, because their revenue and livelihoods are being affected all because a minority want to abuse people for the colour of their skin.
“Football and sport in general should be about human vs human, not about your race or creed. It’s just about people doing something they love and giving people a show out on the field.”