Over 100,000 people have signed a change.org petition bizarrely calling for England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy to be replayed.
The Three Lions lost on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley on Sunday evening, where Luke Shaw raised English hopes by giving them the lead inside two minutes.
The Italians forced their way back into the match and deservedly levelled through Leonardo Bonucci in the second period.
Roberto Mancini’s side then prevailed 3-2 in a penalty shootout as Marcus Rashford shot wide and both Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka had their efforts saved by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
England boss Gareth Southgate was keen to stress how proud he was of his team after the match.
“In terms of the players, they’ve given everything they could have – not only tonight but through the whole tournament,” said Southgate.
“They should hold their heads high.
“They’re a team who have pulled together, given the country some incredible evenings but of course tonight the devastation of getting so close and not being able to give our country the trophy we wanted to is difficult to put into context.
“You can imagine how the dressing room is so that of course is difficult to put into words at the moment but in terms of the players they’ve given absolutely everything and I’m very proud of them.”
Southgate had no criticism for Dutch referee Bjorn Kuipers after the match, but it seems as though many supporting England thought differently.
In the UK, a peak audience of 31 million people watched the match across both BBC and ITV, and some fans were left incensed.
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A change.org petition to replay the match was started on the grounds that it apparently “was not fair at all”, with an image of Giorgio Chiellini’s now infamous foul on Saka – which the Italian defender was booked for – used to highlight this apparent unfairness.
It is added that there were “pushes, pulls and kicks” from the victorious Italians, who – it is said – should have had “a red card for their gameplay” with the match replayed with a “non-biased” referee, presumably to give England a better chance of winning.
Over 100,000 people had signed the petition by Tuesday lunchtime, perhaps not all entirely seriously.
Earlier in the tournament some 270,000 people signed a petition on French website Les Lignes Bougent (LLB) calling for the France vs Switzerland last-16 match to be replayed.
Those signing were complaining that Swiss goalkeeper Yann Sommer was off his line when he saved the decisive penalty from Kylian Mbappe in the shootout, although that was later proved to be incorrect.
The petition was later taken down by the person who started it, with an LLB statement issued calling for the French to be “good players” and accept Switzerland’s victory.