The Football Association and England have issued statements condemning racist abuse that was directed to players following Sunday night’s devastating Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.
The Three Lions suffered a penalty shootout defeat in their first major final since the 1966 World Cup win, with Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho failing to convert from the spot.
The trio were instantly subjected to vile racist abuse on their social media pages, with the official England Twitter account offering their support to the squad.
“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,” they posted.
This followed a lengthy FA statement which called on the government and social media to take immediate action.
“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,” their statement read.
“We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the tea. 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 to 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 abhorent abuse.”
The Met Police also condemned the abuse following the match, calling it ‘totally unacceptable.’
The force said on Twitter : “We are aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the Euro 2020 final.
“This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated.”
Countless fans have moved to defend the trio on social media, while Roy Keane also supported them on ITV Sport. “It’s an amazing night, a brilliant night of football. I said to Gary when it went to penalties that I didn’t think any team deserved to lose it,” he said.
“Somebody has to miss a penalty, but it’s not a night to be critical of any of the players, Gareth and his staff.
“I think they’ve been magnificent. Instead of criticising players who miss, I admire players who step up.”
Former Arsenal great Ian Wright also moved to praise Saka.
“He’s more than capable of taking that penalty, I don’t think age plays a part in that.
“He’s brave enough to want to take it. You say should he be? Of course he should, he’s in the England team because he’s good enough to be here.
“I’m devastated for everyone, not just Bukayo. I’m delighted that he’s brave enough to go up and take one.”