Borussia Dortmund forward Erling Haaland has sent a message of support to teammate Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka after they received racial abuse on social media following England’s penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
Sancho, Rashford and Saka were subject to racist comments online after failing to convert their spot kicks, with England manager Gareth Southgate calling the abuse “unforgivable”.
The FA released a statement in response which 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 abuse was fiercely condemned by ex-players, commentators, pundits and supporters, with many sending solidarity to Sancho, Rashford and Saka.
Among the current players to offer their support was Haaland, Sancho’s teammate at Dortmund. “I don’t understand why there is still room for racism and discrimination,” he wrote on Twitter.
“We will never tire of fighting against any form of discrimination. Instead of being applauded for having the courage to take the penalties, these young men are attacked with racist insults. I am speechless.”
Rashford’s United teammate Scott McTominay also expressed anger at the abuse, writing on Instagram : “What I am reading this afternoon is absolutely horrendous.
“Something seriously needs to be done about this because, for the amount we speak about people and footballers being racially abused, it keeps happening time and time again. Keep your head up [Marcus].”
The Metropolitan Police have announced that they are looking into the racist insults aimed at Sancho, Rashford and Saka, tweeting: “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.”
Speaking after the match, Southgate suggested that the abuse was anathema to England’s values as a team. “For some of [the players] to be abused is unforgivable really,” he said.
“I know a lot has come from abroad. People who track those things have been able to explain that. But not all of it.
“It’s just not what we stand for. We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody and so that togetherness has to continue.
“We heal together as a team now, and we’re there for them, and I know that 99 per cent of the public will be as well.”
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