FA condemns racist abuse of England players on social media after Euro final

The Football Association has issued a statement condemning racist abuse on social media directed at a number of England players after their defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final. The Metropolitan police have also opened an investigation into the abuse.

“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,” the statement said early on Monday morning.

“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.”

A Metropolitan police tweet said: “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.”

England lost 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley. Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka failed to score their spot-kicks in the shootout and all three players have been targeted by racist abuse. None of the players have commented at time of writing, but the England team’s official Twitter account put out 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,” it said.

The FA statement said it would “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.”

A number of high-profile Twitter users gave the players their support after the game, while Instagram has been flooded with positive comments in an effort to drown out the racist abuse. “All the boys who put themselves forward to take a pen we are proud of you – takes a form of bravery to step up in such pressurised situations. @BukayoSaka87 @Sanchooo10 @MarcusRashford we salute you boys,” wrote the former England international Rio Ferdinand.

“The racist abuse I’ve seen targeted at these incredibly talented young players who helped take us to our first major tournament final in 55 years has been vile and disgusting,” wrote Magid Magid, the former lord mayor of Sheffield. “England wouldn’t have achieved what it did without them. They deserve all our love and support!”

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.”

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