England manager Fabio Capello today joined the fight against racism in football and demanded supporters behave at tomorrow's Euro 2012 qualifying match against Wales.
England's players wore anti-racism Kick It Out wristbands in training on Monday, signalling the squad's opposition to incidents which occurred in Bulgaria. There have been claims that supporters on both sides aimed abuse, and Capello wants to see a respectful Wembley crowd on Tuesday.
He recalled the tensions at the Millennium Stadium in March, where many in the Cardiff crowd booed as 'God Save The Queen' played, and insisted there should not be any repeat by either set of fans tomorrow. Speaking at a press conference televised by Sky Sports News, Capello said: "Racism is a terrible thing. I am against it absolutely. I don't like racist people."
He added: "I didn't know what happened in Bulgaria because I was focused on the game. But we need to fight against racism. You need to respect the other countries.
"I remember in Cardiff I didn't like the boos or the shouts against the other country, because for me as a manager and as a player it's a really important moment, because you wear the shirt at your heart at this moment. It's a really high moment, a spiritual moment. You need to respect the other country."
Capello's message was backed up by England captain John Terry, who explained the decision to wear the wristbands.
"It is a response in the support of Kick Racism Out Of Football, that is our message to show we are behind the campaign," Terry said.
The Football Association made a complaint to their Bulgarian counterparts and also to UEFA after some England players came in for racist abuse in Sofia, while it has also been claimed that England fans taunted their home counterparts with derogatory comments about their Romany background.
The FA have vowed to adopt a 'zero tolerance' attitude towards racism, and Terry said: "We will let the guys at the FA deal with UEFA - we were disappointed after a good win.
"I think first and foremost before we even get onto the pitch we have to respect each other. I get goose bumps on my arms when the national anthem is played and I hope the fans respect the Welsh anthem."
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