The English Football Association (FA) has issued a statement to say it is “appalled” by the online racism against some England players after the European Championship final.
On Sunday evening, England lost the European Championship final to Italy after penalty kicks. Three players of colour of the English team, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, missed their penalty, after which racist remarks about them appeared on social media.
“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,” the statement read.
“We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team,” it added. “We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.”
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 ❤️ https://t.co/1Ce48XRHEl
— England (@England) July 12, 2021
The police also responded to racist comments on social media, saying that it is “totally unacceptable, will not be tolerated” and will be investigated.
England’s national team itself also responded via Twitter, saying that it is “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.”
Additionally, before the start of each match, the English players (like the Belgian Red Devils) knelt down to draw attention to the fight against racial inequality.
The players themselves did not (yet) react to the incident.
In the meantime, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also tweeted, saying that all players of the team “deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.”
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.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 12, 2021
“Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves,” he added.
Additionally, some of the English football fans present in and around Wembley stadion, where the match was played, were involved in fights and skirmishes.
Police arrested at least 49 people on Sunday after supporters clashed with each other and with police officers, and 19 officers sustained injuries.