Newsbeat

World Cup 2018: Jamie Vardy says England will cope with racism in Russia

Jamie Vardy playing for England Image copyright Getty Images

England striker Jamie Vardy says the national squad will take any racist abuse "in their stride" at the World Cup in Russia this summer.

"We've got a very close-knit group of lads," he tells Newsbeat.

England Under-17 attacker Rhian Brewster recently spoke about being racially abused when playing against Russian clubs this season.

Fifa has opened an investigation into the U17 golden boot winner's allegations.

Vardy was fined by Leicester City in 2015 after claims he used a racial slur against a Japanese man.

He apologised and later said it was out of ignorance rather than racism.

Image copyright Allsport/Getty

Speaking to Newsbeat at the launch of the second season of his V9 Academy, Vardy says he's ready to represent his country at World Cup 2018.

"You always know that you're happy and that you're at a level that you wanted to be at," he says.

"But on the other side, you do still pinch yourself, knowing what it took to get there."

On whether the squad is concerned about racist abuse at Russia 2018, he says: "We've not been spoken to yet but I'm sure we will."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Rhian Brewster won the U-17 World Cup with England last year

He adds:"We'll get sat down and spoken about everything that could happen at the World Cup or there's a chance of happening.

"We'll have to make sure we're aware of it and take it all in our stride."

Liverpool forward Brewster says he's been racially abused five times in his career and has called for harsher punishments for perpetrators.

Fifa has launched an investigation into the allegations following a Football Association complaint.

Vardy also spoke about his wife's recent stint in the I'm A Celebrity jungle.

He tweeted that he'd voted for her to do a bushtucker trial five times during the reality TV series, but says "she's been fine" with him since getting back.

"I was told to vote for her by her management, so I'm not taking the blame for that," he says.

"But she's forgiven me."

Listen to Newsbeat live at 12:45 and 17:45 every weekday on BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra - if you miss us you can listen back here

More on this story