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The Labour MP has defended the Three Lions players that have threatened to leave the pitch abruptly if subjected to racist abuse in Poland and Ukraine

The UK’s shadow foreign secretary, Douglas Alexander, has stated he will defend England players if they chose to walk off the pitch during a Euro 2012 match because of racist abuse.

Governing body Uefa released a press statement stating players will be handed a yellow card if they walk off the pitch, regardless of racist abuse in Poland and Ukraine.

Racism has already overshadowed the opening days of Euro 2012; Russia fans allegedly abused a Czech Republic player during their 4-1 victory on Friday.

Writing in the I, Alexander said “Referees have the power to stop the game should any racist incidents occur – they should use it and be backed by the governing body when they do.”

England are set to open their Euro 2012 campaign against France on Monday, players from both sides have already said they are prepared to walk off the pitch if racially abused in Poland and Ukraine.

“However, if a referee ignored blatant racist abuse and the England players or the management felt justified in walking off, they should be supported," the politician added.