Wales defender Ashley Williams unfazed by racist chants

2012 European Championship Qualifying Group G - Bulgaria v Wales

Venue:
Vasil Levski Stadium, Sofia
Date:
Tuesday, 11 October
Kick-off:
1905 BST
Coverage:
Full commentary on BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Cymru & online. Live text commentary online.
Ashley Williams has won 29 caps for Wales
Ashley Williams has won 29 caps for Wales

Wales defender Ashley Williams is not thinking about possible racist chanting ahead of the Euro 2012 qualifier against Bulgaria on Tuesday.

Williams, 27, will take his place in central defence for Gary Speed's men in Sofia, where England's Ashley Young was alleged to be a victim of racist abuse.

But Swansea defender Williams will not let racist chanting affect his game.

"I haven't given it a minute's thought, it's not something I'm worried about," he said.

Uefa began disciplinary proceedings against the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) earlier this month, regarding events at the game between Bulgaria and England in September.

The matter relates to alleged racist chanting and flares thrown by fans, and could lead to a fine.

Communication is already taking place between the relevant parties before Uefa decides on what action, if any, to take.

European football's governing body expects to take a decision on any potential punishment by 15 October.

Williams believes more can be done to stamp out racism and hopes Bulgaria can follow the lead taken by the Kick It Out campaign in the UK, which is supported by the Professional Footballers Association (PFA), the Premier League and the Football Association.

"We've worked hard in the UK to kick it out and I haven't received anything [racist chanting] really in the last few years," added Williams, who has won 29 Wales caps.

"I think we're doing a good job here, obviously other countries have got to do their work as well.

"Bulgaria seems to be a country that it's still there knocking about, a bit of racism, so hopefully they can kick it out as well."

Meanwhile, Wales have no fresh injury concerns following Friday night's 2-0 win over Switzerland in Swansea.

A win in Sofia on Tuesday against Bulgaria coupled with Switzerland losing at home the same night to Montenegro, who secured a play-off spot with a 2-2 draw against England, would see Wales finish an encouraging third in the final Group G standings.

Wales were without injured midfielders Joe Ledley, Andy King and Jack Collison, plus defenders James Collins and Danny Collins against Switzerland and those players remain sidelined.

Midfielder David Vaughan has been suffering with tonsilitis and David Edwards has only recently returned from a spell on the sidelines, but both could come into contention in Sofia.

Wales squad:

Goalkeepers: Wayne Hennessey (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Boaz Myhill (West Bromwich Albion - on loan at Birmingham City)

Defenders: Darcy Blake (Cardiff City), Chris Gunter (Nottingham Forest), Adam Matthews (Celtic), Neil Taylor (Swansea City), Ashley Williams (Swansea City), Lewin Nyatanga (Bristol City)

Midfielders: Joe Allen (Swansea City), Gareth Bale (Tottenham Hotspur), Andrew Crofts (Norwich City), David Edwards (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Aaron Ramsey (Arsenal), David Vaughan (Sunderland), Jonathan Williams (Crystal Palace)

Forwards: Craig Bellamy (Liverpool), Hal Robson-Kanu, Simon Church (both Reading), Steve Morison (Norwich City), Sam Vokes (Wolverhampton Wanderers)

Stand-by list: Lewis Price (Crystal Palace), Neal Eardley (Blackpool), Ashley Richards (Swansea City), Rhoys Wiggins (Charlton Athletic), David Cotterill (Swansea City), Andy Dorman (Crystal Palace), Jermaine Easter (Crystal Palace), Ched Evans (Sheffield United)

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