England 'Disgusted' By Racism Aimed At Players After Euro 2020 Final Loss
By Jason Hall
July 12, 2021
England's Football Association condemned online racism directed at three Black players following the national team's penalty shootout loss to Italy in the pandemic-delayed Euro 2020 Final on Sunday (July 11).
Italy won the shootout, 3-2, with England's Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who are all Black, missing kicks after the teams drew 1-1 in regulation and extra time.
"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," an England FA statement obtained by ESPN read.
"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."
The England team also released a statement addressing abuse directed at the three players on social media following the game.
"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," the team tweeted in response to the FA 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 after tonight’s game.— England (@England) July 12, 2021
We stand with our players ❤️ https://t.co/1Ce48XRHEl
Arsenal F.C., Saka's Premier League club, also released a statement supporting the 19-year-old midfielder.
"Last night, we saw Bukayo Saka reach the Euro 2020 final at the age of 19 years old," the statement said. "Bukayo has been with us since he was seven and the whole club couldn't have been prouder to see him represent England throughout the tournament. You could feel it right across the club.
"Last night we witnessed the leadership and character we've always known and loved in Bukayo. However, this feeling of pride quickly turned to sorrow at the racist comments our young player was subjected to on his social media platforms after the final whistle.
"Once again, we are sad to have to say we condemn the racism of a number of black players. This cannot continue and the social media platforms and authorities must act to ensure this disgusting abuse to which our players are subjected on a daily basis stops now."
Arsenal's statement on the racist abuse aimed at Bukayo Saka after last night's game. pic.twitter.com/WjJ6ucleVu— Charles Watts (@charles_watts) July 12, 2021
The Union of European Football Associations also issued a statement regarding racism directed at the three English players via Twitter.
"UEFA strongly condemns the disgusting racist abuse directed at several England players on social media after the EURO final, which has no place in football or society. We stand by the players and the English FA's call for the strongest possible punishments."
UEFA strongly condemns the disgusting racist abuse directed at several England players on social media after the EURO final, which has no place in football or society. We stand by the players and the English FA’s call for the strongest possible punishments.— UEFA (@UEFA) July 12, 2021
Metropolitan Police in London -- the host city of the Euro 2020 tournament -- confirmed they were "aware of a number of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final" in a post shared on their verified Twitter account.
We are aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final.— Metropolitan Police Events (@MetPoliceEvents) July 12, 2021
This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated.
United Kingdom Prime Minister Boris Johnson also condemned the abuse directed at the three players, tweeting, "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.
On Monday (July 12), Leyton Orient, a lower league side from London, confirmed they had issued a three-year ban of any supporter that shared racist abuse during and following the Euro 2020 Final.
"As the club has repeatedly made clear, we take a zero-tolerance approach to any racist abuse or discrimination,"a statement read. "Further to the banning order, the supporter will be fully refunded the purchase for their Season Card for the 2021-22 season. The club is extremely proud of its diverse history, and continues to work with local authorities and governing bodies to enact change."
Additionally, a mural honoring the charitable efforts of Rashford, 23, a native of Manchester and star forward for hometown Manchester United, was vandalized after the match.