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‘It’s not what we stand for’: Gareth Southgate slams ‘unforgivable’ racist abuse

England manager Gareth Southgate this morning savaged the abuse of his players as ‘unforgivable’ after they were abused by racist thugs overnight.

He blasted mindless social media morons who bombarded Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho with vile slurs after they missed penalties during the team’s Euro 2020 final loss.

The England boss hit out after Prince William and the Prime Minister branded the abuse unacceptable and sickening after the defeat by Italy at Wembley.

Southgate 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.

‘It’s my decision who takes the penalties, it’s not a case of players not volunteering or more experienced players backing out.’

Facebook and Instagram this morning said it had tried to remove comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers, but many were still visible this lunchtime.

The huge tech firm insisted:  ‘No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.’

Twitter said it had taken 1,000 racist tweets down and suspended accounts.

But Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden slammed the social media giants, adding: ‘I share the anger at appalling racist abuse of our heroic players.

‘Social media companies need to up their game in addressing it and, if they fail to, our new Online Safety Bill will hold them to account with fines of up to 10 per cent of global revenue.’ 

Prince William led earlier calls to stop the racist posting of the England team, branding abuse at players ‘totally unacceptable’.

The Duke of Cambridge, who was at the game last night with Kate and George, said those behind them should be punished.

He said: ‘I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed 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.’ 

It came as: 

  • Estate agents Savills launched an investigation over claims a member of staff sent a vile racist message 
  • Roads and railways were deserted as England fans sleep off hangovers or stay at home to mourn loss
  • There was an outpouring of sympathy for Bukayo Saka – a star of the tournament at just 19 – who missed the final penalty having stepped up ahead of more experienced teammates;
  • A security inquest came after riot police were brought into London’s West End after thousands of football fans took to the streets and large crowds attempted to push into the fan zone in Trafalgar Square without tickets;
  • Violence also broke out inside Wembley after dozens of fans with no tickets somehow managed to force their way into the national stadium.
  • Facebook – which owns Instagram – said it tried to remove harmful content as quickly as possible  
  • Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden warned social media firms need to up their game or else the new Online Safety Bill would hold them to account with fines of up to 10 per cent of global revenue
  • Zara Tindall even ‘wiped blood from Wembley seat after husband Mike broke up fight between two England fans in the stands while scores of families described their children being terrified as brawls broke out; 

England's Mason Mount leaves the Grove Hotel

England’s Kalvin Phillips embraces a member of the England staff and Mason Mount waves as the team prepare to head to their homes after a month in their team bubble 

One user wrote under the latest Instagram picture of Saka (pictured), 19: 'Go back to Nigeria.' While another said: 'Get out my country'

One user wrote under the latest Instagram picture of Saka (pictured), 19: ‘Go back to Nigeria.’ While another said: ‘Get out my country’

Racists have bombarded Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jodan Sancho with abhorrent abuse after the trio missed their penalties during tonight's Euro 2020 final

Racists have bombarded Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jodan Sancho with abhorrent abuse after the trio missed their penalties during tonight's Euro 2020 final

Racists have bombarded Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jordan Sancho with abhorrent abuse after the trio missed their penalties during tonight’s Euro 2020 final

Racists took to Twitter with vile slurs after the Euro 2020 match ended in disappointment for millions of England fans

Racists took to Twitter with vile slurs after the Euro 2020 match ended in disappointment for millions of England fans

Marcus Rashford puts his face in his hands after missing his penalty by striking the post

Jadon Sancho puts his head in his hands after he failed to score in the penalty shoot out in tonight's Euro 2020 final

Marcus Rashford, left, and Jadon Sancho have their heads in their hands after missing their kicks

Gareth Southgate said: 'It's just not what we stand for. We have been a beacon of light' as he was quizzed on the abuse

Gareth Southgate said: ‘It’s just not what we stand for. We have been a beacon of light’ as he was quizzed on the abuse

And William – who is president of the FA – said the appalling remarks had to be stamped out for good.

He said: ‘I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed 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.’

In a statement following the racist abuse directed to England’s football team after their Euro 2020 final defeat, Facebook – which owns Instagram – said it tries to remove harmful content as quickly as possible and encouraged people to use the tools it offers to block abuse.

‘No one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on Instagram,’ a Facebook company spokesperson said.

‘We quickly removed comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers last night and we’ll continue to take action against those that break our rules.

‘In addition to our work to remove this content, we encourage all players to turn on Hidden Words, a tool which means no one has to see abuse in their comments or DMs.

‘No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.’

It came as Savills estate agent launched an investigation after claims a member of staff had been behind one of the messages. 

A mural honouring England star Marcus Rashford was vandalised less than an hour after last night's Euro 2020 final defeat

A mural honouring England star Marcus Rashford was vandalised less than an hour after last night’s Euro 2020 final defeat

Estate agents Savills said it was investigating today if a member of staff posted a vile tweet aimed at the England players

Estate agents Savills said it was investigating today if a member of staff posted a vile tweet aimed at the England players

The Metropolitan Police confirmed they will be investigating the abuse

The Metropolitan Police confirmed they will be investigating the abuse

Another user wrote, 'Foreigners are stupid,' seemingly choosing to ignore that Saka was born in Ealing, west London

Another user wrote, 'Foreigners are stupid,' seemingly choosing to ignore that Saka was born in Ealing, west London

Another user wrote, ‘Foreigners are stupid,’ seemingly choosing to ignore that Saka was born in Ealing, west London

Savills estate agent launches probe into claims employee was behind vile tweet and fans flood stars’ pages with positive comments 

Estate agents Savills were this morning investigating if one of its staff posted racist abuse of England’s players.

It came after a Twitter used a foul racist term in a post caused widespread revulsion.

This morning as the profile disappeared Savills responded to an avalanche of questions over whether he worked for them.

It said: ‘Savills is committed to eliminating discrimination and encouraging diversity amongst our workforce.

‘A full investigation will be carried out in regards to this unacceptable incident.

‘Savills abhors and has zero tolerance to any form of racism and racial discrimination and is appalled by the racist comments in these tweets.

‘Savills is immediately investigating and will take appropriate action.’

A spokesperson said: ‘Savills abhors and has zero tolerance to any form of racism and racial discrimination and is appalled by the racist comments in these tweets.

‘Savills is immediately investigating and will take appropriate action.’

The PM echoed the Football Association’s condemnation of those attacking the players after the team lost to Italy. 

Mr Johnson said: ‘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. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel also headed up figures slamming the racists.

She said: ‘Players who have given so much for our country this summer have been subject to vile racist abuse on social media.

‘It has no place in our country and I back the police to hold those responsible accountable.’

Keir Starmer said: ‘Anyone racially abusing them is a disgrace and doesn’t represent us at all. More can and must be done to stop online abuse. ‘

Gary Lineker said: ‘Booing and racially abusing the fine young men that play for our country and have given us so much pleasure and joy over the last month is not being an England fan. That goes for the pathetic fighting at the ground too. It’s a minority but it’s a loud one and it’s embarrassing.’

It came as police began hunting the racists behind some of the vile social media posts.

The horrific comments, including the use of monkey emojis and racist language such as n****r , have led to the FA condemning its racist fans and saying they are not ‘welcome in following in the team’ and the Metropolitan Police has confirmed its officers will be investigating.  

A spokesman 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'

A spokesman 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’

Nineteen-year-old Bukayo Saka is inconsolable after failing to score his penalty kick and handing victory to the Italians

Nineteen-year-old Bukayo Saka is inconsolable after failing to score his penalty kick and handing victory to the Italians

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Gareth Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager who missed his spot kick as a player at the semi-finals of Euro 1996

Nineteen-year-old Saka was consoled by Gareth Southgate as penalties came back to haunt the manager who missed his spot kick as a player at the semi-finals of Euro 1996

England's heartbroken players including captain Harry Kane return to the team's hotel after last night's match

England’s heartbroken players including captain Harry Kane return to the team’s hotel after last night’s match

Zara Tindall ‘wiped blood from Wembley seat after husband Mike broke up fight between two England fans during Euros final’ 

Zara Tindall wiped blood from a seat at Wembley Stadium after her husband Mike broke up a fight between two England fans during last night’s nerve-shredding Euros 2020 final against Italy, it has been claimed.

The royal is said to have pulled a handkerchief from her handbag to clean up the mess just before kick-off after a spectator sat near the couple was punched and had his nose broken amid scenes of ‘absolute mayhem’.

A source told the Sun newspaper: ‘Tensions had got a bit heated near to where Zara and Mike were sitting because it had got quite crowded. Two fans ended up in a punch-up and Mike had to step in to save the day.

‘He stood between them and pulled them apart before stewards could get them under control. Unfortunately some blood ended up near Zara and she had to use a tissue to mop it up. It was absolute mayhem.’

Mike shared photos of the game from Wembley on his official Twitter account last night. He wrote: ‘Very proud of @EnglandFootball, didn’t go England’s way tonight but this group of players have made a massive step forward and I think we will be competing at tournaments for many years to come! Well done lads!’

While thousands rallied to support the players, especially Saka, who lit up the tournament for England at the age of just 19.

Calling on those behind the abuse to face arrest and prosecution, one fan said: ‘I’ll take these three Englishmen over any racist-moron-fake-fan every day of the week and twice on a Sunday’.

Another wrote: ‘I stand with Rashford. I stand with Sancho. I stand with Saka. I stand with a whole team of brilliant men who made us all proud & represent the best this country has to offer I reject everything about the Racists & Shape Shifters who represent the worst’. 

Racist social media users instantly took to the accounts of the three black players who missed penalties in last night’s clash against Italy. 

The players’ Instagram and Twitter feeds were subjected to a barrage of racist imagery including monkey and banana emojis, as well as written comments packed with horrifying slurs.  

One user wrote under the latest Instagram picture of Saka, 19: ‘Go back to Nigeria.’ While another said: ‘Get out my country.’ And another wrote: ‘Take banana n****r.’  And another, seemingly in support of the Italians, said: ‘It’s coming Rome!!! F****** n****r.’

Another user wrote, ‘Foreigners are stupid,’ seemingly choosing to ignore that Saka was born in Ealing, west London.  

A spokesman 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 defender Harry Maguire arrives back at the team hotel last night following the country's devastating defeat

England defender Harry Maguire arrives back at the team hotel last night following the country’s devastating defeat

The moment of heartbreak for England as Saka's penalty is saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma

The moment of heartbreak for England as Saka’s penalty is saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma

England fans wrapped in the flag of St George's Cross look back at Wembley lit up in the green, white and red of Italy, after the Three Lions lost on penalties

England fans wrapped in the flag of St George’s Cross look back at Wembley lit up in the green, white and red of Italy, after the Three Lions lost on penalties

A dejected fan in London's Trafalgar Square after Italy won the UEFA Euro 2020 Final against England after the game was decided on penalties

A dejected fan in London’s Trafalgar Square after Italy won the UEFA Euro 2020 Final against England after the game was decided on penalties

England fans were left feeling tense as the game went into extra time at Wembley

Fans faced extra time agony after Italy scored an equaliser at Wembley

England fans were left feeling tense as the game went into extra time at Wembley, leaving supporters facing a nail biting finale

Earlier in the game, ecstasy had turned to agony for England fans, who endured a nerve-racking finale after Italy equalised to cancel out Luke Shaw's early opener

Earlier in the game, ecstasy had turned to agony for England fans, who endured a nerve-racking finale after Italy equalised to cancel out Luke Shaw’s early opener

Facebook statement on the England team abuse

In a statement following the racist abuse directed to England’s football team after their Euro 2020 final defeat, Facebook – which owns Instagram – said it tries to remove harmful content as quickly as possible and encouraged people to use the tools it offers to block abuse.

‘No one should have to experience racist abuse anywhere, and we don’t want it on Instagram,’ a Facebook company spokesperson said.

‘We quickly removed comments and accounts directing abuse at England’s footballers last night and we’ll continue to take action against those that break our rules.

‘In addition to our work to remove this content, we encourage all players to turn on Hidden Words, a tool which means no one has to see abuse in their comments or DMs.

‘No one thing will fix this challenge overnight, but we’re committed to keeping our community safe from abuse.’ 

And the Metropolitan Police confirmed they will be investigating the abuse and 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 players have taken the knee to support anti-racism drives throughout the tournament, a move that has drawn vocal criticism and boos from a section of their support.  

In turn the FA and senior players have attacked the boo-boys in the stands, stating their actions are precisely why the team feels a need to make a stand against racism. 

England lost the penalty shootout 3-2 after the match finished 1-1 after extra time.  

More than 31million football fans watched the match last night – and it appears many chose to stay at home today, many nursing severe hangovers after yet another emotional match watching England. 

Congestion levels were down in all English cities this morning, with roads Birmingham, the home of Jack Grealish, seeing traffic 21 per cent lighter than average with Bristol and Leicester’s traffic levels 24 per cent lower than normal, according to experts TomTom. 

London’s roads were 11 per cent less busy and Manchester, the home city of Marcus Rashford, was nine per cent down. 

While photographs from the morning rush hour showed it was no such thing, with the Tube and trains into the capital largely deserted, including in Wembley.

England are fans still demanding a bank holiday from Boris Johnson after hundreds of thousands signed a petition – some arguing that they need some time off to mourn. 

Empty roads in Wembley this morning after England lost the Euro 2020 final at Wembley to Italy on penalties

Empty roads in Wembley this morning after England lost the Euro 2020 final at Wembley to Italy on penalties

Waterloo Station was exceptionally quiet this morning as many stayed at home after last night's excesses

Waterloo Station was exceptionally quiet this morning as many stayed at home after last night’s excesses

 

The West End of London, which was teeming with supporters last night, was also exceptionally quiet close to Trafalgar Square

The West End of London, which was teeming with supporters last night, was also exceptionally quiet close to Trafalgar Square

Police are treating vandalism of Marcus Rashford mural as ‘racially aggravated’ as artwork is defaced with ‘sh**e’ and ‘b*****d’ less than an hour after his penalty miss 

Greater Manchester Police are investigating the ‘racially aggravated’ defacing of a mural honouring England footballer Marcus Rashford less than an hour after he missed a penalty for the Three Lions during last night’s nerve-shredding Euros final against Italy at Wembley.

Manchester United star Rashford, who was brought on a right-back by manager Gareth Southgate during extra time in England’s nail-biting match against Roberto Mancini’s squad, missed the team’s third kick from the spot after the Euro 2020 Championship final went to penalties.

The mural on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe in Withington was defaced with derogatory comments about Rashford including the words ‘sh**e’ and ‘b*****d’. Further graffiti said ‘f**k Sancho’ – a reference to Rashford’s Three Lions teammate Jadon Sancho, who also missed a penalty.

The artwork was created by Akse, a French-born graffiti artist, in November 2020. A painting of Rashford appears alongside the phrase: ‘Take pride in knowing that your struggle will play the biggest role in your purpose’.

In a statement, GMP slammed the ‘racially aggravated’ and ‘disgraceful’ damage, adding: ‘Hate crime in any form is completely unacceptable and not welcome here in our city.’ The force was alerted at around 2.50am this morning. No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing.

Chief Superintendent Paul Savill said: ‘This is disgraceful behaviour and will absolutely not be tolerated. Greater Manchester prides itself on being made up from a number of diverse communities, and hate crime in any form is completely unacceptable and not welcome here in our city.

‘GMP takes crimes of this nature very seriously and an investigation has been launched. If anyone has any information that could help us to identify this offender please do not hesitate to speak to police.’

After the match last night one fan tweeted: ‘We still get our bank holiday though, right?’, another said: ‘We need a bank holiday to mourn’ while a third supporters mused: ‘Can’t believe a bank holiday was decided on penalties’. 

The 70,000-strong crowd at Wembley, along with an estimated UK TV audience of 35million, had let out a collective roar when Luke Shaw scored for England after only two minutes.

But the optimism dimmed when Italy equalised in the second half and the game moved into a nail-biting extra 30 minutes Leonardo Bonucci reacted the quickest to stab the ball into the net.

His strike saw the 9,000 Italian fans inside Wembley scream and leap with delight. There were no further goals, allowing England’s penalty curse to strike again. 

The crowd included supermodel Kate Moss and Sir Geoff Hurst, who scored a hat-trick when England beat West Germany in the 1966 final. Former England captain David Beckham, 46, leant over and gave his friend, Hollywood actor Tom Cruise, 59, a gentle fist bump after the first goal. Prince George, who was wearing the official England tie with his dark suit, yelped with delight and threw his arms in the air. The seven-year-old gave his mother Kate a big hug while his father Prince William grinned and clapped.

After the match William congratulated the Italian football team and said of England: ‘You’ve all come so far, but sadly this time it wasn’t our day. You can all hold your heads high, and be so proud of yourselves – I know there’s more to come.’

Boris Johnson, who was also at Wembley, tweeted: ‘That was a heartbreaking result to end Euro 2020 but Gareth Southgate and his England squad played like heroes.’ Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer tweeted after the whistle: ‘Heartbreaking. On and off the pitch, this team is the very best of our country. They’ve done us proud.’

Around two hours before kick-off, hundreds of fans without tickets ran through a set of security barriers as stewards and riot police gave chase. A number managed to get into the ground, forcing their way through turnstiles, VIP and disabled entrances.

Ten minutes before kick-off, the Red Arrows flew over the famous Wembley arch, releasing plumes of red, white and blue smoke. Wearing England shirts and draped in St George’s flags, fans with and without tickets had started gathering on Wembley Way ten hours before the game. Red flares and fireworks were let off and fans clambered on top of red London buses and traffic lights as excitement levels reached fever pitch.

Tens of thousands repeatedly belted out the England football anthem Three Lions, along with I’m England ‘Till I Die, God Save the Queen and Neil Diamond’s classic song Sweet Caroline.

Despite falling agonisingly short last night, England’s attention will turn to the next World Cup – starting in 496 days.

The tournament is moving from its usual summer berth to winter because it will be played in the scorching heat of Qatar.

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk