Danny Rose could not bear to watch his England team-mates suffering sickening abuse in Bulgaria – and fully expects racism to continue when “not-so severe punishments” are meted out.
Gareth Southgate’s side are preparing for their first match since last month’s trip to Sofia, where a 6-0 win was overshadowed when some of the home fans made monkey chants and Nazi salutes.
Bulgaria have been ordered by UEFA to play their next competitive home game behind closed doors, with a further match suspended for two years, as a result of the behaviour in a Euro 2020 qualifier that Rose missed through suspension.
“To be honest with you, I couldn’t watch it,” the left-back told BBC Radio 5 live.
“It got to just before half-time and there was a debate about whether the ref was going to call the game off and after that I couldn’t watch it.
“It was obviously difficult to watch to see the lads put in situations for the first time that were foreign to us because we don’t encounter that while we are playing here in England.
“It was difficult to watch but Harry (Kane) and the lads conducted themselves in a professional manner and I’m glad no-one was physically abused over there.
It got to just before half-time and there was a debate about whether the ref was going to call the game off and after that I couldn't watch it.Danny Rose
“I have said what I have said in the past about the punishments and stuff and after that my views are no different.”
Rose was on the receiving end of racist abuse when playing for England Under-21s in Serbia several years ago and then for the senior team in Montenegro earlier this year.
The Tottenham left-back said in the wake of the match in Podgorica that he “can’t wait” for his football career to be over because of how the authorities deal with racism.
Rose described punishments as a “farce” and said at the time that nothing will be done to combat the problem while offending countries are fined the amount “I probably spend on a night out in London”.
After the Bulgarian Football Union was fined 75,000 euros (£64,641) on top of the stadium sanction, the 29-year-old was asked what he thought of the latest sanction.
“My views are still the same, I have got nothing to say about things like that,” Rose said.
“Until harsher punishments are in place, then I am not going to keep talking for the sake of talking. I said what I had to say and people agreed or disagreed.
“Now we are six, seven, eight months down the line and things are still happening after not-so severe punishments so I am fully prepared for it to keep happening for the foreseeable future and we will just have to hope something changes.”