When England’s Raheem Sterling scored, This Beautiful City Was Scared By Ugly Hatred

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You get a sense of when a storm is approaching. It’s usually easy to predict where the night will go in the hours leading up to the start of a trip to Eastern Europe.

In March of this year, all the metaphorical sirens were blaring in Podgorica. Even though Montenegro only has a small capital city, it felt as though every cop in the country had been summoned and outfitted in military gear to police the European Championship qualifier.

There was no physical violence, but there was a lot of racism, and football was not going to be on the agenda that night. England’s left back Danny Rose was insulted and pelted with cigarette lighters. Monkey shouts were directed at Raheem Sterling and Callum Hudson-Odoi, who scored in a 5-1 victory.

Locals fought with the traveling media, claiming that our questions of the national team head coach had in some way led to Bulgarian Ultras abusing Tyrone Mings, Marcus Rashford, and Sterling on their debuts.

The sinister edge was not apparent in Budapest. This beautiful, vibrant city was welcoming and the fabulous Puskas Arena looked every inch the kind of stadium that you could see hosting a Champions League final. But it should never, ever have that honour. Not after the eruption that, again, took the narrative away from football.

Source: Daily Mail

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