Hart: we'll leave ref to deal with racist abuse

Goalkeeper Joe Hart has said England's response will be led by the match referee and Uefa if any players suffer racial abuse during their Euro 2012 campaign.

Players have been warned by Uefa this week they will be booked if they walk off the pitch after experiencing racism during the tournament.

Italy striker Mario Balotelli, a team-mate of Hart's at Manchester City, last week threatened to walk off if he suffered racist abuse during Italy's games.
Hart said: "Our advice is to get on with it and see how the referee and Uefa deal with it. It's not for us to do.
"Hopefully the referee and Uefa will take it into their own hands if that problem does occur.

"Fingers crossed we won't have to deal with anything like that. It's down to the referee.
"We can't take rules into our own hands. If the referee feels it's right for us to walk off then we'll follow him."

Hart, who starts the tournament as England's established first-choice goalkeeper, was quick to play down suggestions that expectations of the team should be low despite injuries to key men including Frank Lampard, Gareth Barry and Gary Cahill.

England start against France in Donetsk on Monday, then have further group games against Sweden and Ukraine.

Hart said at England's press conference: "We're all hungry guys.
"We're all successful at football, and that's what we want, we want success.
"We don't want to go there thinking people won't mind if we lose, we can go home, we can go on holiday and no-one will care.
"We have high expectations otherwise there's no point us being here.
"We've come to win, we've come to do well, we've come to represent our country, and we want to make people proud."
Hart has no concerns over England's strength in central defence, even with Rio Ferdinand left at home.


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