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

12 July 2021, 17:43 | Updated: 12 July 2021, 20:37

By Emma Soteriou

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has condemned the racist abuse faced by the England football team, following their loss at the Euro 2020 final.

Mr Johnson addressed the matter in the opening of his Downing Street press conference.

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

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

He went on to say: "This entire team played like heroes and I'm sure that this is just the beginning of their achievements.

"I say bring on Qatar next year and let's also dare to start to hope that, together with Ireland, our United Kingdom can host the World Cup in 2030."

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The backlash came after Italy beat England in a penalty shootout in the Euros final on Sunday night.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed their penalties, which led to their social media pages soon being flooded with racist comments.

Marcus Rashford's mural in Manchester was also vandalised following the game, with graffitied messages across it.

England manager Gareth Southgate described the reaction from spectators as "unforgivable", saying "it's just not what we stand for".

England player Tyrone Mings also defended his teammates, saying he was sickened but not surprised by the treatment they had been given.

Mings hit out at Priti Patel too, who previously said she was "disgusted" by the abuse players had faced.

He argued that the Home Secretary could not "pretend to be disgusted" after claiming at the start of the tournament that the team's anti-racism message of taking the knee was simply gesture politics.