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Soccer-Poland say no racism in Glik’s bust-up with England’s Walker

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September 9, 2021

(Reuters) – Poland said their players did not racially abuse England defender Kyle Walker during a heated mass scuffle in Wednesday’s 1-1 World Cup qualifying draw in Warsaw.

World governing body FIFA said that it was investigating the row that broke out on the halftime whistle after Poland’s Kamil Glik clashed with fellow defender Walker.

Television images showed Glik had pinched the neck of Walker but it was not clear if that alone had caused the fracas. Glik and England’s Harry Maguire were booked following the incident.

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But England manager Gareth Southgate did not make any direct allegations of racism during his news conference, saying they were “getting to grips with what that was”.

“I’ve spoken to our players and they totally deny there was any racism,” Polish FA spokesman Jakub Kwiatkowski told Sky Sports. “It was a normal football incident.

“Passions were running very high. There was some pushing between Glik and Walker at a free kick. There was a lot of tension and some pushing but no racism.

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“We had some discussions with the fourth official about this at halftime and I spoke to the players and they told me there was no racism.”

Southgate added that they had submitted a report to the FA, while skipper Harry Kane said: “Allegedly it was something that was done, not said.”

British media reported that FIFA was in the process of analysing the official match reports.

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“The relevant information will be assessed by the competent disciplinary bodies to decide on next steps,” they quoted the world governing body as saying in a statement.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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