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London – Some family members of England's black players will avoid travelling to the European Championship because of fears of racist abuse and violence.
Former England international Mark Chamberlain, the father of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, told Sky Sports News on Friday that he is likely to stay home rather than go to Poland and Ukraine, after both the British government and human rights organisations warned about the possibility of racist abuse in the co-host nations.
Chamberlain said: “It's a major concern. I think your safety is more important than a game of football.”
Last week, the family of fellow Arsenal winger Theo Walcott said they would stay home because of the same concerns.
England defender Joleon Lescott said: “It's a shame for some members of the squad that their families feel they can't go and obviously it's a situation that needs to be addressed.” – Sapa-AP