Roberto Martinez wants a ‘no tolerant’ approach to racism on the football pitch

Belgium boss Roberto Martinez says his players will be “proactive” if any of them are subject to racist abuse on the pitch.

England players have said that they are prepared to walk off the pitch if any of them receive racist abuse from supporters this week.

And Martinez says if that happens to any players within his team, they will follow specific instructions from the authorities.

He told Sky Sports News: “In terms of these sorts of issues, we are quite proactive.

“We’re hands-on and we’re very supportive of all the initiatives that we have in the federation, not just domestically in Belgium, but everything that comes from UEFA and FIFA.”

Gareth Southgate called a meeting on Monday evening with all the England players to discuss what action they would take in the face of possible racism in the future.

Players in Gareth Southgate’s squad were subjected to racist abuse during their European Qualifier win in Montenegro in March

Southgate explained what the UEFA protocols are, and we understand the players unanimously agreed to follow those protocols.

The protocol begins with a player notifying their captain, who would then speak to the referee. The referee will initially stop the game and ask for a PA warning to the crowd.

A second incident of racism heard by the referee or reported to him/her will lead to the official taking the teams off the pitch, and a further tannoy warning made to the crowd that the game may be abandoned if the abuse persists.

A decision would then be taken by the referee, in consultation with team officials and the players, whether the game should be abandoned or continued.


Lukaku thinks Serie A are taking action after he was racially abused while playing for Inter Milan

Lukaku thinks Serie A are taking action after he was racially abused while playing for Inter Milan

Martinez added: “It is true that you hope this behaviour has a no tolerant approach and there is a huge respect in the way we want the game to be played.

“The first port of call has to be the referee, he is the main authority in the game.

“But clearly there is a sort of behaviour that we need to educate people that it doesn’t happen and that it’s not okay to let any footballer experience it. We’re quite clear in that respect.”

A win against San Marino will confirm qualification

If Belgium can beat San Marino, Euro 2020 qualification will be confirmed before their game against Kazakhstan, live on Sky Sports on Sunday.

Martinez’s side are currently top of the FIFA world rankings, with San Marino ranked bottom, and he knows that a victory is a must from the game on Thursday.

Kevin De Bruyne celebrates a Belgium goal against Scotland

“This is the camp where we need to seal qualification. It’s been a really satisfactory period, in terms of results,” he said.

“The first objective is to qualify and that’s what we’re trying to achieve in the next game.

October 13, 2019, 1:55pm

“We faced San Marino in the previous camp, so we know each other really well. These games are about doing things correctly, finding that level of performance that will be good for us to become better as a group.

“You always have to give respect to the team in front of you, but it’s clearly a game that we need to show the consistency that we’ve shown in every single game of this qualification campaign.”