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England refuse to play in Madrid because of racism fears

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The FA has told the Spanish Federation that a forthcoming friendly match between England and Spain will not take place in Madrid because of fears England’s players would be subjected to racist abuse. The last time the two teams met in a friendly at the Santiago Bernabeu in 2004, Ashley Cole and Shaun Wright-Phillips were taunted throughout a bad-tempered match.

The FA’s director of communications, Adrian Bevington, said: “We are currently in talks with the Spanish Federation. The FA were clear from the outset that we would not play the game in Madrid due to racial abuse we faced in 2004.”

Quite what the FA is expecting to find away from one of the country’s most cosmopolitan cities we are not sure…