The Metropolitan police have opened an investigation into the racist abuse directed at a number of England players after their defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.
A Metropolitan police tweet said: “We are aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final. This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated.”
England lost 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 draw at Wembley.
Three players were subsequently targeted by racist abuse.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka failed to score their spot-kicks in the shootout.
None of the players have commented.
England football team response
In response to the racism, England team’s official Twitter account put out a statement.
“We’re disgusted that some of our squad – who have given everything for the shirt this summer – have been subjected to discriminatory abuse online,” it said.
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.— England (@England) July 12, 2021
We stand with our players ❤️ https://t.co/1Ce48XRHEl
FA condemns abuse as well
The national team's response shared the statement by the Football Association condemning the abuse.
“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 FA statement said early on Monday morning shortly after the finals.
“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 FA statement said it would “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.”
Support for those abused
In defence of the team, former England international Rio Ferdinand wrote on social media: “All the boys who put themselves forward to take a pen we are proud of you – takes a form of bravery to step up in such pressurised situations. @BukayoSaka87 @Sanchooo10 @MarcusRashford we salute you boys.”
Top photos via BBC Sport & Getty