FA 'appalled' as England stars suffer racist online abuse after Italy loss

12 July 2021, 06:44 | Updated: 12 July 2021, 07:58

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed from the spot
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed from the spot. Picture: Alamy
Nick Hardinges

By Nick Hardinges

The Football Association (FA) has said it is "appalled" after several England players received racist abuse on social media following the Three Lions' Euro 2020 defeat to Italy.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed their penalties on Sunday night as England's hopes of winning a first major international tournament in 55 years were dashed.

All three had their social media pages flooded with a torrent of racist comments, which led to the FA issuing a statement denouncing the "disgusting behaviour".

"The FA strongly condemns all forms of discrimination and is appalled by the online racism that has been aimed at some of our England players on social media," a spokesperson said.

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"We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team. We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.

"We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences.

"Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse."

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson also used Twitter to speak out against the abuse: "This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.

"Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves."

The Metropolitan Police also condemned the "unacceptable" abuse, adding it will be investigating the "offensive and racist" social media posts.

It said in a statement on Twitter: "We are aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final.

"This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated."

The official Twitter account for the England men's and women's national teams offered support to the victimised players.

It said in a statement: "We're disgusted that some of our squad - who have given everything for the shirt this summer - have been subjected to discriminatory abuse online after tonight's game.

"We stand with our players."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan called on social media companies to do more to hold to account those responsible for sending online abuse.

He wrote on Twitter: "There is absolutely no place for racism in football or anywhere else.

"Those responsible for the disgusting online abuse we have seen must be held accountable - and social media companies need to act immediately to remove and prevent this hate."