Bukayo Saka was one of three players to miss their penalties as England suffered a gut wrenching defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final, with the Arsenal star left distraught
The Football Association and England have condemned the racist abuse directed at players after the Three Lions’ heartbreaking Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.
Italy ended England’s bid for glory with a 3-2 victory on penalties in London, in a game which had earlier seen ticketless fans breach security to get into the stadium.
Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho all failed from the spot on Sunday night as England went down on penalties and were instantly subjected to sickening racist abuse.
The trio’s social media pages were quickly flooded with racist comments, leading the FA to release a statement condemning the “disgusting behaviour”.
The official Twitter account for the England men’s and women’s national teams offered support to the victimised players.
“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. We stand with our players.”
Pool via REUTERS)
England’s Football Association released a statement in the early hours of Monday morning condemning the online racist abuse of players.
The statement 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.”
The Met Police also condemned the abuse which it called ‘totally unacceptable.’
The force said on Twitter: “We are aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the Euro 2020 final.
“This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan called on social media companies to do more to hold to account those responsible for sending online abuse.
He wrote on Twitter: “There is absolutely 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.”
Last night Saka, 19, came off the bench in the second-half of play with the scores locked at 1-1.
The Three Lions got off to the perfect start through Luke Shaw, only to be pegged back by Leonardo Bonnuci after the break.
Gareth Southgate summoned Saka with England falling deeper and deeper and Italy completely controlling the game.
He struggled to make an impact on the game both in the remaining 20 minutes of normal time and the 30 additional minutes in extra time.
After the game ended 1-1 after extra time, England earned the first advantage in the shootout when Jordan Pickford saved from Andrea Belotti.
But Marcus Rashford missed with the scores at 2-2, before Jadon Sancho did the same at 3-2.
Pickford prolonged England’s hopes with a sensational save from Jorginho, only for Saka to see Donnarumma save his penalty after bravely stepping up to take one.
The Arsenal star was visibly distraught on the Wembley turf following his miss, with his teammates dragging him back from the penalty spot to console him.
Southgate took full responsibility for the penalty defeat and told Saka he would not be left to suffer alone.
“It’s down to me, I decided on the penalty takers based on what we did in training,” he told BBC shortly after the Italians had lifted the trophy. “Nobody is on their own, we’ve won together as a team.
“In terms of the penalties, that’s my call and it rests on me.”
Saka then suffered horrific racist abuse on social media with several posting disgusting messages on his Instagram account with Rashford and Sancho also targeted.
Roy Keane also went out of his way to issue support to the three players that missed penalties, telling ITV Sport: “It’s an amazing night, a brilliant night of football. I said to Gary when it went to penalties that I didn’t think any team deserved to lose it.
“Somebody has to miss a penalty, but it’s not a night to be critical of any of the players, Gareth and his staff.
“I think they’ve been magnificent. Instead of criticising players who miss, I admire players who step up.”
Arsenal legend Ian Wright was also full of praise for Saka, adding: “He’s more than capable of taking that penalty, I don’t think age plays a part in that.
“He’s brave enough to want to take it. You say should he be? Of course he should, he’s in the England team because he’s good enough to be here.
“I’m devastated for everyone, not just Bukayo. I’m delighted that he’s brave enough to go up and take one.”