Gareth Southgate Slams 'Unforgivable' Racist Abuse Of England Players
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England manager Gareth Southgate says that the racist abuse directed at his players following their defeat to Italy last night is 'unforgivable'.
Facing the media after last night's Euro 2020 final loss at Wembley, Southgate slammed those who directed horrific racist abuse at players including Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka, all of whom missed spot-kicks during the decisive penalty shootout.
He said: "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 have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together.
The Duke of Cambridge Prince William has also criticised those who have subjected the three young players to abuse online, writing: "I am sickened by the racist abuse at England players after last night's match.
"It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable."
Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: "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."
England's football governing body has also spoken out in condemnation, releasing a statement through a spokesperson that said: "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."
"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."
The Metropolitan Police are investigating the incidents of racism, which including monkey emojis and horrific racial slurs directed towards the England players.
Italy took home the Euro 2020 title after a tense penalty shootout, after the match ended 1-1 following 120 minutes of play.
England had taken an early lead through Luke Shaw, but veteran centre-back Leonardo Bonucci scored an equaliser in the second half, before Gianluigi Donnarumma proved the hero of the penalties.