Petition for lifetime bans for racists abusing England players hits one million signatures

12 July 2021, 18:47 | Updated: 14 July 2021, 09:20

Saka, Rashford and Sancho were racially abused after the Euro 2020 final defeat
Saka, Rashford and Sancho were racially abused after the Euro 2020 final defeat. Picture: Alamy

By Will Taylor

A petition calling for lifetime bans for racists from football matches has hit one million signatures after England's players were abused.

Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were the targets of racist comments in the wake of the Euro 2020 final.

The three missed penalties against Italy in Sunday's Euro 2020 final at Wembley.

They were singled out by social media users despite being far from the only England players to miss crucial penalties in tournaments – and none started the game, being just three of the 16 that could have made the difference in normal and extra time.

Now, a petition set up on Change.org calls for anyone who "carried out racist abuse, online or offline" to be banned from all football games in England for the rest of their life.

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

Read more: Prince William 'sickened' by racist abuse aimed at England players

The petition's creators, listed as Shaista, Amna, and Huda, say they are "multi-racial football fans" who "finally feel represented by this anti-racist and inclusive England team".

"We could not be more proud or inspired by our magnificent team and by their talent, bravery, leadership and love for all," they said.

"Gareth Southgate's England team plays for ALL of us.

"Their vision is an inclusive vision and this matters more than EVER - it's why we feel proud of this team and why they're so cherished and loved by many of us.

"There should be no room for racists and bigotry in football or society."

By 9am on Wednesday, it had hit more than 1,000,000 signatures.

Read more: 'Shame on you': Boris Johnson condemns racist abuse aimed at England players

The Football Association has said anyone involved in racism is not welcome to follow the team.

England manager Gareth Southgate said it was "unforgivable" and added that the decision on who takes penalties rested with him.

Boris Johnson said on Monday: "To those who have been directing racist abuse at some of the players, I say shame on you.

"I hope you will crawl back under the rock from which you emerged."