Callum Hudson-Odoi: Chelsea forward calls for end to 'evil' racism

Callum Hudson-Odoi h
Hudson-Odoi made his first senior start for England against Montenegro

England forward Callum Hudson-Odoi has called for an end to the "evil of racism" after he and a number of team-mates were racially abused by Montenegro fans.

England won the Euro 2020 qualifier 5-1 in Podgorica in March but the match was overshadowed by racist chanting.

"Just everybody stop the racial abuse," Hudson-Odoi told The Players' Tribune.

"I just want to live my life. I just want to play football and make my family proud."

The 18-year-old Chelsea player was making his first senior England start against Montenegro and he says the abuse that he, Danny Rose and Raheem Sterling received was "unacceptable".

It followed a number of high-profile incidents in domestic and international matches this season.

Montenegro have been ordered by Uefa to play their next home match behind closed doors as punishment.

Hudson-Odoi said: "To be hearing stuff from the crowd saying, 'You're a monkey' or, 'Ooh-ah-ah'. Stuff like that, for me it's why? Why do that evil? How can you even racially talk about someone else, or discriminate against them because they're a different colour to you?"

Sterling scored England's fifth goal in the 81st minute and celebrated by putting his hands to his ears, a gesture he later said was a response to the racist abuse.

The Manchester City forward then posted on social media a photograph of his celebration, with the caption: "Best way to silence the haters (yeah I mean racists)."

"If anything, the chants backfired," added Hudson-Odoi. "When it happened during the game, it didn't put me off my game, but instead made me more motivated to beat them and make sure we won.

"I had so much respect for Raheem when he scored and did the celebration and the Instagram post after. But also, no player should ever go through the racism and discrimination Raheem has had to go through. It's not right."

Hudson-Odoi, who played played 24 times for Chelsea this season, has had surgery after suffering a ruptured Achilles tendon against Burnley last month.

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