England suffer 90 minutes of abuse18 November 2004

The footballing community is apalled over the racist abuse suffered by England’s black players in their 1-0 defeat in a friendly against Spain on Wednesday 17 November 2004. Throughout the match, the Santiago Bernabéu crowd “Monkey Chanted” England’s Jermaine Jenas, Ashley Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips.

England midfielder, Jermaine Jenas, says that it’s the worst abuse he has heard,
“That was the worst I have ever experienced. I have encountered it before when playing for Newcastle in Europe but against Spain was the worst. It was not nice to hear such chants going on. It was very ignorant and wrong. It was disgraceful. Ashley is very upset, he was not happy about the abuse he got. Something has to be done or else it will continue to happen. It has to stop somewhere.

I just hope Uefa do not just let it slide by because it is not something that should be taken lightly. I hope it doesn't get brushed under the carpet. The only thing you can see happening is to ban people from games or don't let them in the stadium.”

The previous night, England’s under-21 black players suffered the same abuse in their 1-0 defeat. Carlton Cole, Darren Bent and Glen Johnson were subjected to chants during the game.

These latest incidents follow the alleged racist remarks made by Spain’s coach Luis Aragones last month. He was reported to make derogatory remarks about Thierry Henry to Reyes during a training session. Although the Spanish FA has apologised to Arsenal, Aragones has not issued a personal apology nor has he been punished for his remarks. He has refused to comment upon the incidents on Wednesday night.

Jenas commented,
“It is pretty disgraceful that people can get away with such things. It is disgraceful that someone at such a high level can make such comments without any backlash.”