'Abhorrent': England players targeted with 'disgusting' abuse
The fallout to England's devastating penalty shootout loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final has been sickening with a number of players targeted with racist comments.
Italy lifted their first European Championship since 1968 after a nail-biting penalty shootout, which saw a number of players miss crucial penalties.
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After progressing past Spain in a penalty shootout earlier in the tournament, Italy created history as no side had ever won more than one shootout at a European championship.
Jordan Pickford gave England hope after guessing correctly to save Italy's second spot kick from Andrea Belotti.
After successful penalties from Harry Kane and Harry Maguire, England's Marcus Rashford missed after striking the post.
Fellow England substitute Jadon Sancho then saw his effort saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma but Pickford gave England a chance after stopping the usually dependable Jorginho.
It all rested on the young shoulders of 19-year-old Bukayo Saka to keep England in it, but the imposing Donnarumma telegraphed his spot kick to win it for Italy, leaving the football world in raptures.
However, in a disgusting twist, Saka's instagram page became the No.1 trend on Twitter after he was subjected to horrible racist abuse only moments after the loss.
The majority of fans jumped on social media to defend Saka and hit out at the 'racist morons' for the vile abuse.
The disgusting, nonsensical thuggery, mindless violence & debauchery before the match.
The racial abuse of black players. Makes me sick to the core 🤬
The only thing to be proud of are our @england team who brought us so much joy & stand for everything that’s right #EURO2020
— Reshmin Chowdhury (@ReshminTV) July 12, 2021
Racist abuse of Saka, Sancho, Rashford; storming Wembley; violence inside; terrified, crying children; fireworks thrown into crowds (we’ve got video); glass bottles hurled; Wembley Way trashed.
Disgusting and depressing. #ENG team deserves so much better. #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/BiH5wfaXxC
— Steve Scott (@stevescott_itv) July 12, 2021
You celebrated every time Sterling scored, you cheered Saka and called him a prodigy when he was the best player on the pitch, you begged for Sancho to play. But now you wanna racially abuse the players and attack black fans? Piss off man
— sharky (@ohnosharky) July 11, 2021
Anybody racially abusing Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka on social media tonight is not a patriot. *You* are why they take a knee. Racist cowards should feel the full force of the law and social media companies must do more to keep this poison off their platforms.
— Angela Rayner (@AngelaRayner) July 12, 2021
Hope Boris condemns all those violent people leaving horrendous comments on Saka and Rashford’s social media pages.
— Clarbie (@claraamfo) July 12, 2021
Give me Rashford, Sancho & Saka every day of the week over these racist morons.
My England is Southgate’s inclusive England. Not the booer’s. Not the vandals’. Definitely not the racist’s.
England will win eventually but these people will always be losers.
— Spencer (@SpencerOwen) July 11, 2021
“Saka’s Instagram” is currently the number 1 trending topic… sort yourself out if your reaction to a TEAM losing a final is to racially abuse a 19 year old. Embarrassment.
— Elias Caven (@EliasCaven) July 11, 2021
I’m seeing so much racism on Saka’s Instagram. We didn’t deserve to win if this is how the country acts when it loses https://t.co/ZgdCTypJQf
— London Hughes (@TheLondonHughes) July 11, 2021
Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford being racially abused on social media from their own #ENG fans. It's disgusting.
If you see racial abuse, report it.
Lots of support to these players from a guy who supported Scotland and Wales. pic.twitter.com/aA2yl3qujp
— Fuad Alakbarov (@DrAlakbarov) July 11, 2021
Former players and fans also offered words of encouragement for the young stars of the English team after the rough abuse and devastation of losing the final.
The bravery you shown today at such a young age you should be proud! Keep your head so high. Love you brother @BukayoSaka87 ❤️
— Tyreece9 (@tyreecejj9) July 11, 2021
Saka is a special talent, get behind him @England fans. He’s going to do massive things for you. Massive. pic.twitter.com/H4V2crHCcK
— Callum Scott Howells (@callumshowells) July 11, 2021
England release statement condemning abuse
Shortly after the game, England Football Association (FA) released a statement condemning the vile abuse.
The FA also called for social media platforms to hold those responsible for the abuse.
"We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team," the FA said in a statement.
"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 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."
Only recently, United player Rashford revealed the abuse he received online after his team lost to Villarreal in the Europa League final.
“Yes I’m a black man and I live every day proud that I am,” Rashford wrote after receiving abuse in January.
“No one is going to make me feel any different. So sorry if you were looking for a strong reaction, you’re just simply not going to get it here.”
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