Romelu Lukaku feels England’s players should have acted to “make a statement” against racism by leaving the field during their European Championship qualifier in Montenegro.
Gareth Southgate’s side continued an emphatic start to the preliminary rounds of Euro 2020 by coming from behind to record a 5-1 win in Podgorica.
But the game was marred by England’s black players being subjected to monkey chants and other racist abuse, with Raheem Sterling cupping his ears to the home supporters in response after scoring his team’s fifth.
Speaking after the match, Southgate pledged to report abuse he heard aimed at left-back Danny Rose and UEFA has charged Montenegro, who face a partial stadium closure following a spectacle the organisation’s president Aleksander Ceferin described as a “disaster”.
England captain Harry Kane has said he would be willing to walk off with his team-mates should a similar situation arise in the future, but Manchester United striker Lukaku said this course of action should have been taken at the time.
“England should have walked off I think, personally. To make a statement,” he told Sky Sports News.
“I have seen it happen in countries and then the team would get sentenced and stuff like that. For some players, it gives us an edge, but other players can overreact, then you make a foul and you are a man down.
“It’s something that us players have to stand up and talk about, so the people in top positions do something. It should be fixed and sorted because football is a multicultural game.
“We do a lot of stuff for a lot of people, so let’s not forget about the racism issue. I hope we can fix it. It’s going to take time.”