Anton Ferdinand believes England should be barred from hosting another major football tournament until racist abuse and social disorder problems can be eradicated from the game.
England’s Euro 2020 final against Italy on Sunday was marred by scores of ticketless fans trying to break into Wembley, while Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were subjected to racist abuse on social media.
Ugly scenes in London’s Leicester Square and at Wembley before and after the penalty shoot-out defeat will also have damaged the nation’s chances of hosting the 2030 World Cup.
And former West Ham and QPR defender Ferdinand has admitted the country should be thwarted in their bid unless the off-field problems can be tackled.
Asked if England should be denied host status until the wider issues are solved, Ferdinand said: ‘Yes, there should be consequences, there definitely should be consequences.
‘That’s how people learn, but you’ve got to be willing to learn, that’s the problem. You’ve got to be willing to understand and be open-minded on what it is, especially when talking about the discrimination side of things.
Ugly scenes marred Sunday’s Wembley final, including ticketless fans storming the turnstiles
Football fans storm through the security barriers at Wembley just moments ahead of England’s nail-biting fight against Italy
Bukayo Saka was racially abused on Instagram after missing the decisive penalty against Italy
Anton Ferdinand says England should be punished for the unsavoury Euro 2020 final scenes
‘A lot of people who shout obscenities and things like that, they will never know what it’s like to be racially abused, racially profiled, but what they can do is try to understand it.
‘We’re in a different generation now, what we’re seeing is a multi-cultural stance. It’s no longer just ethnic minorities speaking about this. So it’s time for these bigots and these uneducated fools to get in tune with today’s society.
‘And for people who know it’s wrong and don’t want to speak out about it and check these people, you’re also part of the problem. To combat this and try to eradicate it, everyone needs to speak about it, not just the people on the receiving end.’
Meanwhile, more than 830,000 people have signed a petition calling for people who racially abuse footballers to be banned from grounds for life.
Rugby legend and England World Cup winner Phil Vickery, comedian Eddie Izzard and glamour model Katie Price are among those to have backed the campaign.
The petition, entitled ‘Ban racists for life from all football matches in England’, was set up by anti-racism campaigner Shaista Aziz and her friends under the name of the Three Hijabis.
Glamour model Katie Price has backed the petition to ban racists from all football for life
The change.org petition reads: ‘As multi-racial football fans, we finally feel represented by this anti-racist and inclusive England team.
‘We could not be more proud or inspired by our magnificent team and by their talent, bravery, leadership and love for all.
‘Gareth Southgate’s England team plays for ALL of us. Their vision is an inclusive vision and this matters more than EVER – it’s why we feel proud of this team and why they’re so cherished and loved by many of us.
‘There should be no room for racists and bigotry in football or society.’
Ferdinand has been campaigning against online abuse as part of BT Sport’s Hope United campaign
The Peckham-born defender was embroiled in a long-running racism saga after accusing Chelsea’s John Terry of abusing him in a match against QPR in 2011.
John Terry was accused by Anton Ferdinand of racially abusing him back in 2011
Racist abuse was directed at Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho for their missed penalties in England’s Euro 2020 final loss to Italy
Rashford’s mural in Greater Manchester (above) was defaced but messages of support covered the abuse
Ferdinand praised England boss Gareth Southgate (right) for helping different cultures merge
The 36-year-old has spoken out against discrimination ever since, and hailed Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate as the template for anyone looking to learn how to change their outlook when it comes to social and racial issues.
‘Gareth’s a perfect example, of trying to understand and getting to understand a different culture,’ said Ferdinand, speaking as a BT Sport Hope United ambassador.
‘And trying to understand what it feels like. He’s never going to know the feeling, but he’s willing to understand. And that is the difference between the golden generation to this generation.
‘The camaraderie in this team is why we got to the final, along with the quality of players in the team that we’ve got of course.
Stampede of the mob: Barriers are breached allowing some fans without tickets to race into Wembley
Ferdinand (left) claims England should be banned from hosting a tournament after Sunday
‘But the camaraderie, the team spirit shone through for me more than anything. That togetherness, it expanded out into the masses of the nation.
‘That’s how powerful Gareth Southgate’s stance, and the way that he’s been dealing with these issues, that’s how powerful it’s been.
‘So if there’s anyone to model yourself on as a middle-aged white male, look at our leader of the FA in terms of our national team. Look at what he’s achieved by opening his mind and understanding different cultures.
‘He’s given us one of the greatest nights, and greatest days, after 55 years, the jubilation after the semi-final was unbelievable. The social media abuse is heartbreaking, but I’m not surprised.
Shoving in: A mass of England supporters throng outside stadium and push at the barriers
The former defender (middle) has called on England fans to ‘wake up’ after Sunday’s events
‘People need to wake up: our team is multi-cultural. There will never, ever be an all-white England team again.
‘Look through the age groups, they are multi-cultural. I believe in this team, I think this will spur us on to go and do well in the World Cup.
‘Look at the pattern, semi-final, final; now we’ve got to go and win something, and I believe in this group of players.
‘It’s not always been about tactics for Gareth Southgate, it’s about the person, and the personnel.
‘Yes you need ability, but togetherness is what wins trophies. Gareth’s attitude definitely gives me hope that things can change.’
‘You don’t get to stoke the fire and then pretend to be disgusted at racist abuse’: England ace Tyrone Mings slams Priti Patel after she condemns attacks on Three Lions stars – as Boris tells trolls to ‘get back under your rocks’
England star Tyrone Mings launched an astonishing broadside at Priti Patel by accusing the Home Secretary of ‘stoking the fire’ of racism by labelling the team’s taking of the knee as ‘gesture politics’.
The Three Lions ace said the Conservative minister had ‘no right’ to condemn the online abuse against fellow stars Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka.
The trio faced a barrage of vile comments from racist online trolls after missing penalties in last night’s heartbreaking Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.
Ms Patel described the abuse of England’s stars as ‘disgusting’, as she joined the nationwide condemnation of those behind the messages.
England star Tyrone Mings (pictured taking the knee during a friendly against Romania in June) tonight launched an astonishing broadside at Priti Patel by accusing the Home Secretary of ‘stoking the fire’ of racism by labelling the team’s taking of the knee as ‘gesture politics’
Prior to the tournament, the Home Secretary had said she ‘did not support’ those engaging in ‘that type of gesture politics’ when asked if she supported stars taking the knee
But, replying to the Tweet, the England defender said: ‘You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as “Gesture Politics” and then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens.’
The Home Secretary had said prior to the tournament that she ‘did not support’ those engaging in ‘that type of gesture politics’, when asked if she supported stars taking the knee.
And she said it was up to fans whether they booed the gesture during England’s Euro 2020 campaign.
The comments by Mings come as his teammate Rashford said he was left ‘close to tears’ after well-wishers covered graffiti sprayed on his Manchester mural with loving notes in the wake of his Euro 2020 penalty heartache.
Meanwhile, England captain Harry Kane sent his own message to those behind the vile racist abuse of England stars in the wake of last night’s heartbreaking Euro 2020 final defeat by saying: ‘We don’t want you.’
The comments by Mings comes after the Home Secretary dismissed the stance of England players in taking the knee in the fight for racial equality.
‘I just don’t support people participating in that type of gesture politics,’ Ms Patel said in an interview with GB News.
Asked whether England fans had a right to boo England’s national team, she said: ‘That’s a choice for them quite frankly. I’ve not gone to a football match to even contemplate that.’
The comments from England star Mings follow on from those of Tory peer Baroness Sayeeda Warsie, who responded to Ms Patel’s tweet by saying the the Government needed to ‘think about our role in feeding this culture’.
She said: ‘Priti – We as govt, as Conservatives, need to think about our role in feeding this culture in our country If we ‘whistle’ and the ‘dog’ reacts we cant be shocked if it barks and bites.
‘It’s time to stop the culture wars that are feeding division Dog whistles win votes but destroy nations.’
BT’s Hope United aims to tackle online abuse as part of BT’s commitment to digitally upskill the nation. To find out more about how you can play your part, watch BT’s Tech Tips at bt.com/hopeunited. Together we can beat online hate.