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TV viewing figures for Euro 2020 final revealed after England's heartbreaking defeat to Italy
12 July 2021, 12:04 | Updated: 12 July 2021, 12:09
The TV ratings for England v Italy have been revealed - with a whopping 30.95 million tuning in for the final moments of the game.
Despite their resilience and sterling performance throughout the Euro 2020 tournament, England suffered a heartbreaking defeat against Italy at Wembley Stadium last night.
While things set off on a strong foot, with Luke Shaw scoring a goal within the first two minutes, Italy equalised after 67 minutes, before beating England during a nail-biting penalty shootout, 2-3.
Unsurprisingly, a staggering amount of the population tuned in to catch the action live on television.
Broadcast on both ITV and the BBC, the match was watched by a combined audience of 30.95 million people in the final stages - the largest since the funeral of Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997.
According to the figures, which were provided to BARB by overnights.tv, an average of 29.85 million people watched the entire match.
This means that 82% of the available UK television viewing population tuned in - and this figure doesn't even account for those who streamed the game online.
Speaking at a press conference this morning, England manager Gareth Southgate addressed last night's devastating blow: "When you're in sport and you get to finals, those opportunities are so rare, so to be close, it's very hard the day after. You have given everything - the emotions are drained."
As for leading the team in the 2022 Qatar World Cup (which England have yet to qualify for), he said: "As I sit here today, I would want to be taking the team to Qatar.
"We of course have to qualify for Qatar. I need some time to watch last night's game again, to reflect on the tournament.
"I need a rest. It's an amazing experience to lead your country in these tournaments, but it takes its toll."
After the defeat, England players Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho have been subjected to racist abuse online.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson condemned the abuse, commenting: "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."
This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 12, 2021
Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.
Likewise, the FA has shunned the "appalling" response to the game, and Prince William - who was in attendance last night with Kate Middleton and Prince George - added: "I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match.
"It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour.
"It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable. W".