FA release statement after England stars racially abused on social media after Italy loss

The Football Association have condemned racist social media content aimed at England players after the Three Lions were beaten by Italy in the Euro 2020 final. 

They have urged online platforms to do more to prevent hateful messages being posted, which has become an increasingly frequent occurence. 

Defender Luke Shaw put England on course for their first major tournament success since 1966 with an excellent half-volley inside two minutes. 

Italy struggled into the first half-time, only Federico Chiesa went close to testing Jordan Pickford with a long-range strike. 

However, they gained confidence in the second half and Leonardo Bonucci equalised after Pickford had tipped an effort onto the post. 

A goalless period of extra-time followed before a penalty shootout. 

Goalkeeper Pickford denied Andrea Belotti to hand England the advantage, but Marcus Rashord missed for the Three Lions. 

Jadon Sancho then had his attempt saved, only to be handed a reprieve when Pickford saved from Jorginho. 

Bukayo Saka had to score his effort to force sudden death but the teenager, who has been excellent at Euro 2020, saw his kick saved. 

Racist tweets and comments were directed at each of the three players who failed to score in the shootout. 

The FA have said that they will do all they can to support the players impacted by the abuse, but that social media companies should put stricter measures in place. 

A spokesperson for the governing body said: “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.

“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.”

England enjoyed a wonderful run to the final of the tournament, their first major showpiece event since 1966. 

There were memorable victories over Croatia, Czech Republic, Germany, Ukraine and Denmark en route to the final.

Gareth Southgate will now prepare his squad for next year’s World Cup.

The tournament is being held in Qatar during the winter months.

England’s performance at Euro 2020 will make them one of the favourites to win the competition, which will be played over 56 years since they last won the World Cup in 1966.

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