The Football Association (FA) has issued a statement strongly condemning racist abuse online aimed at some of the players of England’s national football team after its Euro 2020 loss in the Sunday final.
Responding to the targeting of Black England players Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho – all of whom had their spot-kicks deflected by Italy’s keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma – the governing body of association football in England issued a statement on Monday morning that read:
“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. 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.”
England saw its dream of ending a Euro trophy drought shattered as it lost to Italy 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley.
Black players Marcus Rashford, forward for Manchester United, Jadon Sancho, also signed for the club, and Bukayo Saka, Arsenal, all failed to score their penalty shots and prompted a torrent of online discriminatory abuse.
The FA statement vowed that 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.”
The FA also urged the social media companies to take action to identify and “ban abusers” from their platforms.
None of the three players themselves have yet officially commented on the developments.
However, the official Twitter account of the English team put out a statement to voice its “disgust” over the comments directed at footballers, condemning the behaviour as “unacceptable”.
Earlier, London police acknowledged they were aware of “a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers” following England’s defeat, and promised a thorough investigation.
Following the bitter loss of England’s team, at least 49 arrests were made in the city, with 19 officers injured while confronting aggressive fans, some of whom were seen burning firecrackers and overturning dumpsters in London.
In response to the manifestations of racial abuse online directed at the players, numerous Twitter users gave them their support after the game.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan went on Twitter to underscore there should be “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.”
The UK Prime Minister also weighed in.
Many social media users flooded the internet with messages of support to the players while condemning the behavior of some fans as well as the violence seen in the streets.
Racism and hatred for other cultures has been at the core in England for a lot longer than the social media companies have been around..
— Brónagh (@hellobronagh) July 12, 2021
Unbelievable footage of violence in Wembley tonight. A literal child gets punched by a full grown man and an Asian man is kicked repeatedly in the head by several people. Disgusting behaviour. pic.twitter.com/NLtvjgF8Fe
— Kyle Glen (@KyleJGlen) July 11, 2021
Italy fans were attacked after the game in Wembley, London. Seeing all the racial slurs being thrown at Sancho, Rashford and Saka, I’m really happy Italy won. England fans🤮 #Euro2020Final #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/l0Z43WFvOG
— King Melvin👑 (@melvinnasasira) July 11, 2021
The victory at Wembley stadium brought Italy its first European title since 1968, while crushing England’s hopes of securing a major trophy since 1966, when they beat West Germany 4-2 in the World Cup final.