July 13 – England captain Harry Kane, his manager Gareth Southgate, the Prime minister, leading commentators, UEFA and even royalty have joined forces in adding their condemnation of the online racist abuse meted out to the three black players who missed penalties in Sunday’s Euro 2020 shootout against Italy.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed from the spot to hand Italy the title and were targeted on social media after the game.
“They deserve support and backing, not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night,” said Kane.
“Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up and take a pen when the stakes were high. If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an England fan and we don’t want you.”
Southgate said the abuse was “unforgivable” while prime minister Boris Johnson told those responsible at a news conference: “I say shame on you and I hope you will crawl back under the rock from which you emerged.”
Uefa condemned the “disgusting racist abuse”, adding: “We stand by the players and the FA’s call for the strongest possible punishments.”
Throughout the tournament, a section of England fans inside Wembley booed opposition national anthems, another example of the country’s growing reputation as a pariah when it comes to football-related prejudice and bigotry.
Leading BBC football presenter Gary Lineker denounced the booing, the racist abuse and the ticketless fans who stormed Wembley before Sunday’s final and clashed with police, saying on Twitter that those responsible were “a minority but a loud one and it’s embarrassing.”
Even Prince William, the queen’s grandson and president of the Football Association, joined the chorus of condemnation, saying he was “sickened” by the racist abuse.
“It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour,” he said on Twitter. “It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable.”
Meanwhile the FA said it will conduct a full review after a “large number of drunken yobs” burst through security barriers to get into the final.
FA chief executive Mark Bullingham apologised to legitimate fans and said the security team had “never seen anything like it”.
“We run a stadium not a fortress,” he said. “I have to apologise to any fans whose experience was affected.”
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