Shaun Wright-Phillips has admitted that he wanted to walk off the pitch after being racially abused by Spain fans during a friendly in 2004.
Wright-Phillips and Ashley Cole were subjected to monkey noises and insults during England’s 1-0 defeat inside the Bernabeu, which saw the FA lodge a complaint to FIFA over the incident.
The complaint also referenced how a number of England’s black players were racially abused the night before in an Under 21s clash in Alcala de Henares.
Shaun Wright-Phillips has opened up on the racist abuse he received from fans in 2004
Looking back on the incident, Wright-Phillips reveals he was unsure with the protocol over how the incident could’ve been handled but insists he would walk off the pitch now following the clamp down on racism in recent years.
Wright-Phillips told FourFourTwo: ‘Now there’s a rule where players are allowed to walk off the pitch.
‘If that was the case back then, would I have gone off? Yes, I think I would’ve. It was demoralising – I couldn’t believe it existed and on such a huge stage.
‘But you don’t want to let it get to you on the pitch as you don’t want to let down the fans who’ve travelled to support you. It was hard to deal with.’
The 38-year-old was subject to horrible monkey chants during a friendly in 2004
The Spanish Football Federation were only fined £45,000 for the incident, which was nowhere near harsh enough considering the crime.
He added: ‘Realistically, what is £45,000? Nothing. It was very easy for them to go, “OK, here’s your £45,000”.
‘To them, it’s like a slap on the wrist. It needs to go a lot deeper. If they know the exact section where it’s coming from, ban the section, whether the people there did it or not.
‘Then the supporters who aren’t doing it will start policing it, because they don’t want to miss any matches.
‘To this day, I don’t know what actually happened to that fan. Did they get fined or anything? From what I know, nothing happened.’