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Sunday, 13 October, 2002, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Butcher condemns 'morons'
Heskey suffered rough treatment on and off the pitch
Heskey suffered rough treatment on and off the pitch

Former England captain Terry Butcher has launched a fierce condemnation of racist abuse aimed at England players during the European Championship win in Slovakia.

England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson admitted he was also concerned by chants directed at Ashley Cole and Emile Heskey and crowd disturbances that marred the 2-1 win in Bratislava.

Butcher, who attended the game as BBC Sport pundit, was appalled at the treatment of England's black players.

He told BBC Sport Online: "Emile Heskey did very well under extreme provocation from morons in the Slovakian crowd, who were giving him and Ashley Cole racist abuse.

"It was disgusting. You could hear monkey chants as soon as they touched the ball or were anywhere near the ball.

Terry Butcher witnessed racist abuse
Terry Butcher witnessed racist abuse

"It came from all sections of the crowd, even people in front of us were shouting it as well.

"It is a sign of ignorance. It is not nice - in fact it is disgusting."

Slovakia are almost certain to face disciplinary action from Uefa after referee Domenico Messina made reference to the racist abuse.

The FA has already revealed it would be registering its concerns about off the field events in Bratislava.

Eriksson reflected on the racist chants and said: " Things like that should not be possible in 2002.

"It was awful and shouldn't happen. I know all about it as I came from a club (Lazio) that had that problem and it was difficult to eradicate."

The Football Association has revealed it will complain to Uefa in "the strongest possible terms" about the chanting, which came after four English clubs were targeted in European competition.

England fans were involved in trouble in the stands, although it is understood the FA believes riot police over-reacted by storming the contingent repeatedly.

Missiles were thrown in retaliation before order was restored.


Emile Heskey did very well under extreme provocation from morons in the Slovakian crowd
Terry Butcher

Eriksson was disturbed to witness the trouble, comparing it to the Heysel Stadium tragedy of 1985, in which 39 fans died at the European Cup Final between Juventus and Liverpool.

"It did not look good at all, there were people running all over the place and I hope no-one was injured.

"It looked like many years ago when I was in Belgium in the Heysel Stadium. It's crazy that football should still be like that."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Adam Parsons:
"It's hard to see Uefa not taking action"
BBC commentator Terry Butcher
"It came from all sections of the crowd"
England's Kieron Dyer
"It was very distracting"
 VOTE RESULTS
How should Uefa punish Slovakia?

Fine
 17.20% 

Close ground
 25.57% 

Dock points
 17.16% 

Tournament ban
 40.07% 

19780 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion
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12 Oct 02 | England
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