Updated: Saturday, 8th August 2020 @ 9:26am

England keeper Joe Hart promises 'not to take law into own hands' if black players racially abused at Euro 2012

England keeper Joe Hart promises 'not to take law into own hands' if black players racially abused at Euro 2012

By Mancunian Matters Staff

Manchester City goalkeeper Joe Hart believes that England’s black players will not follow club teammate Mario Ballotelli’s example if they are racially abused at Euro 2012.

The controversial Italian has declared that he walk off if he receives abuse from the crowds in Poland and Ukraine – such as monkey chanting – and would kill anyone who threw a banana at him.

But England’s number one Hart says he and his colleagues will leave it to the referees to take the necessary action, echoing UEFA president Michel Platini, who said players risked a caution if they walked off.

“We can't take the rules into our own hands,” said Hart, who is well-establuished as Roy Hiodgson’s first choice.

“If the referee feels right for us to walk off then we'll follow him. Our advice is just to get on with it and see how the referee and UEFA deal with it.

“Hopefully, the referee or 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.”

With a number of cry-offs due to injury – including city midfielder Gareth Barry and former Bolton defender Gary Cahill – and the Rio Ferdinand affair hanging over the squad, many in the media have written off England

But the 25-year-old – who admits he is thriving off the pressure of being number one – is adamant he and his teammates are not among those who have lowered their expectations ahead of the tournament and believes England are there to win.

He said: “We don't want to come here thinking 'people won't mind if we lose'.

“We have high expectations. Otherwise, there is no point in being here. We have come to win."

“They're the situations that I love. To be the number one for England coming into a Euro finals is something I never even considered doing.

“It is just amazing that I am in these situations. I don't think you can hide - you just have to go and enjoy them.”

Away from the spotlight, Hart, who has a stack of computer games to keep him entertained, will be among those on a planned visit to Auschwitz tomorrow, having already had a talk last week from two Holocaust survivors.

“It's hard to say you are looking forward to something like that but my dad was really keen on me doing it.

“We met two people last week who spoke and you could hear a pin drop. Everyone was taking in their stories and the message they were giving was fascinating about what they'd been through.”

For more on this story and many others, follow Mancunian Matters on Twitter and Facebook.