England defender disappointed Theo Walcott's family won't travel to Ukraine
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND, UK (MAY 24, 2012) (ITN) -England defender Joleon Lescott says football is unlikely to ever get rid of the problem of racism.
This season in the Premier League there have been two high profile controversies over race involving John Terry and Luis Suarez, while England players have been racially abused abroad.
Theo Walcott's family are so concerned with possible racism in Ukraine that they have opted not to travel to support the England midfielder at Euro 2012.
"Yeah, it is a shame that we are talking about it," said Lescott at a news conference on Thursday (May 24).
"I think you always will be. I don't think you can ever get rid of it in people's minds. As I say it is a touchy subject for people to talk about. I think if you address it pretty early I don't think it will be a problem. I think on a whole the country deals with it well and it is not as bad in England as it is in other countries."
On the subject of Walcott he added: "It is a shame that they have to make that decision not based on footballing reasons. Obviously Theo is a vital member of the squad and has played a lot of games and has had a lot of roles in this team and it is a shame his family won't be able to go out there and support him."
With England's first match at Euro 2012 less than three weeks away, Hodgson has a number of injury worries.
Liverpool defender Glen Johnson limped out of Thursday's session while Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck trained on his own and left the session early.
Should Johnson fail to recover it could lead to a first cap for his Liverpool team mate Martin Kelly, who was called into the squad as cover on Tuesday.
England begin their Euro 2012 campaign against France on June 11.