GARETH SOUTHGATE had John Barnes deal with the England squad over racism fears on the World Cup.
The Three Lions boss wished him to talk to gamers about event soccer in the course of the former Liverpool star’s 12-year worldwide profession.
And Barnes additionally advised how he handled horrendous abuse in the course of the darkish days of hooliganism in the course of the 1980s.
There are issues that racists may goal subsequent yr’s World Cup in Russia after a collection of disturbing incidents.
The most recent was in a Uefa Youth League match when Liverpool teenager Rhian Brewster, 17, reacted furiously after allegedly being referred to as the N-word by a Spartak Moscow participant at Prenton Park.
Southgate is ready to take to Russia a crop of younger gamers — akin to Dele Alli, Marcus Rashford and Raheem Sterling — who could not have skilled that degree of racism.
Barnes spoke to the gamers in the summertime when he met up with the squad forward of their draw with Scotland.
And Southgate plans to deal with the difficulty once more forward of the World Cup so gamers are ready for what they may face and the way they may take care of it each personally and as a gaggle.
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As a participant, Barnes skilled the darkish days of racism directed from the terraces.
At its worst, the Liverpool legend had monkey chants and bananas hurled in his course — and that was at matches in England.
Barnes has insisted he by no means let the abuse get to him and he saved taking up his opponents.
In Southgate’s eyes, it made him the proper individual to deal with the present Three Lions squad.
Getting by way of the World Cup subsequent summer time will likely be a part of the training for Southgate’s crop of rising younger stars.
Coping with being away from dwelling will likely be an element, as will boredom round their base at Repino, close to St Petersburg.
After which there may be the potential of racial abuse geared toward England’s black gamers.
Russia nonetheless has incidents of gamers being focused by racists on the terraces.
Manchester Metropolis’s Yaya Toure was abused in Russia taking part in towards CSKA Moscow in 2013 and referred to as for a boycott of subsequent yr’s event if there was no enchancment.
World Cup organisers have promised to sort out the issues and ensure the event is remembered for the appropriate causes. However Southgate wouldn’t be making ready correctly if he ignored the potential for abuse in Russia.
When Barnes went in to the FA’s St George’s Park forward of the Scotland sport in the summertime, it was a part of Southgate’s plan to get legends to speak about what they skilled taking part in for England.
It’s understood that Barnes’ go to went down very nicely with the squad. He mentioned taking part in at three main tournaments, together with being a part of the facet that reached the semi-finals of Italy 90.
However a significant a part of his profession was spent coping with racism from off the pitch.
Barnes advised the squad how he handled the abuse, with the hope that any incidents won’t postpone the present gamers.
Alli, Rashford and Sterling will likely be among the many key gamers for England subsequent yr — and Southgate is conscious they might be targets if thugs need to attempt to have an effect on their sport.
Extra conferences are deliberate earlier than the squad set off for his or her Group G opener towards Tunisia in Volgograd on June 18.
Together with tips on how to finish the years of disappointing outcomes at main tournaments, the potential of racism is on the agenda.