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Featured Image Credit: PA/Twitter
By Stewart Perrie
England's Football Association has slammed fans around the world who have targeted three players with horrific racial abuse on social media.
The accounts of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka have been flooded with words and emojis conveying every slur imaginable following the Three Lions' loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
The three players have been singled out because they all missed penalties in the 3-2 shootout at the end of the match at Wembley Stadium.
The Metropolitan Police are investigating each instance of racial abuse, but the FA has released a statement calling on critics to stop.
The racist abuse towards Bukayo Saka has started. No words... pic.twitter.com/nRNk0BGQSG- em:hot_pepper: (@awfcemily) July 11, 2021
"We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team," the FA said. "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."
In an attempt to drown out the racists, many fans took to Twitter to praise the three players' efforts on and off the field.
Disgusted at the racist untalented bitter cowards being abusive towards Rashford, Sancho and Saka. Three young men we're lucky to have on our team. I hope social media/mainstream media platforms as well as ALL WHITE PLAYERS go out of their way to fight this, and protect them.FFS.- Jameela Jamil :rainbow: (@jameelajamil) July 12, 2021
Can we remember...- Rebeka Maunder (@RebekaMaunder) July 11, 2021
Marcus Rashford is 23, raised £200m for kids to eat last year.
Jadon Sancho is 21, opened up new football pitches for those in the suburbs of London.
Bukayo Saka is 19, a voice for the youth of football today & helping local communities. #StopHate
England should protect these young boys Saka, Rashford and Sancho from racial discrimination at all cost if they ever dream of winning a trophy in future. Let's fight racism. #EURO2020 pic.twitter.com/C2Q6StJtNu- Ronoh Cornelius (Kipchumba). (@kipro_hon) July 11, 2021
Give me Rashford, Sancho & Saka every day of the week over these racist morons.- Spencer (@SpencerOwen) July 11, 2021
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.
This type of abuse is nothing new to Rashford, who copped a similar type of racial profiling when he lost the Europa League final with Manchester United.
However, England manager Gareth Southgate says he was in charge of the decision making and has taken the blame for the way the penalty shootout ended.
"In terms of the penalties, that's my call," Southgate told the BBC. "It totally rests with me. I decided on the penalty takers based on what they've done in training, and nobody is on their own.
"We won together as a team, and it's on all of us for not being able to win the game tonight.
"We're hugely disappointed. The players have been an absolute credit, they've given everything they possibly could.
"They've run themselves into the ground. At times they played really well, at times we didn't keep the ball quite well enough, especially at the start of the second half, but we can't have any recriminations, they've been a joy to work with.
"They've gone further than we've gone for so long, but tonight it's incredibly painful in that dressing room."