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Gary Neville Admits He's Still 'Ashamed' Over Racist Incident In 2004

Nasir Jabbar

Published 

Gary Neville Admits He's Still 'Ashamed' Over Racist Incident In 2004

Gary Neville says he's still "ashamed" that he did not stand up for Ashley Cole when he was racially abused during England's game against Spain in 2004.

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Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips were targeted with vile abuse by Spain fans during an international match at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2004.

The left-back was subjected to racist abuse with supporters making monkey noises every time he touched the ball.

Image: PA
Image: PA

The Spanish FA were slapped with a £44,750 fine for the disturbing actions of their fans by FIFA, but Neville admits he could have done more for this international colleague.

"It's appalling," the former England right-back told the Mirror.

"I sat next to Ashley Cole in that dressing room in Spain all those years ago, came off the pitch at the end of the game, got in the shower, didn't say a word to him, went and did my interviews after the game, probably ignored or semi-­answered the question on racism, walked onto the bus, went back home and didn't think."

He added: "I just ­accepted it ­almost. I didn't even say to him at the end of the game, 'How are you?'

"I'm honest with you, I've got nowhere to go. The reality is we put racial abuse in the same category as the abuse we would receive for playing for Manchester United, for England. We just put it down as abuse.

"We didn't think, we just got on with it. It's appalling and I'm ashamed of the fact.

"For someone who was on the PFA management committee and fought for players' rights at nearly every level, I didn't fight hard enough on this."

Topics: Football News, Football, England, Gary Neville, Ashley Cole

Nasir Jabbar
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