Racist abuse widely condemned as England Euros inquest continues

The fallout from England’s crushing Euro 2020 final defeat continues, with investigations into racist abuse and a security breach at Wembley.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka – who all missed penalties during England’s shoot-out defeat to Italy – were all targeted by online trolls, while several fans without tickets stormed an entry gate at Wembley to watch the match.

The Metropolitan Police made 49 arrests on Sunday for “a variety of offences” and confirmed investigations are ongoing into fans’ behaviour.

The Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the Football Association and watched the final at Wembley, was among those to condemn the abuse.

William wrote on Twitter: “I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match.

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“It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour.

“It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable.”

England manager Gareth Southgate described the abuse directed at the players as “unforgivable”.

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“It’s just not what we stand for,” he said during a press conference on Monday.

“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.”

He said it was his decision – not the players’ – regarding who would take a penalty during the shoot-out.

Fans watching Italy v Englandl
Litter and broken glass strewn on the ground in front of St Martin-In-The-Fields church, in Trafalgar Square, London, on Sunday night (Victoria Jones/PA)

The match finished 1-1 after extra time, meaning spot-kicks decided who would win.

Shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said: “The horrific racist abuse of the England penalty-takers had a disappointing inevitability to it.

“Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have the means to stop this hatred on their platforms and yet they decide to do nothing.”

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden tweeted: “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.”

Prime Minister Boris 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.”

Meanwhile, Downing Street ended hopes that England’s best result in a major tournament since 1966 would be marked by a bank holiday.

Leicester Square
Workers continue to clean Leicester Square in central London on Monday morning (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “We’ll be talking to the FA to identify a suitable way for the Prime Minister to thank the players and coaching staff for their efforts.

“But a bank holiday is not something that is being considered.”

No 10 also criticised England fans who stormed Wembley stadium without tickets and caused trouble in central London.

“Those scenes were unacceptable and we condemn violence, anti-social behaviour and abuse in the strongest possible terms,” the spokesman said.

The Football Association also denounced those who forced their way in as “an embarrassment” and vowed to work with authorities to “take action” against them.

Central London was relatively quiet on Monday morning, after Trafalgar Square became a magnet for fans during the Three Lions’ run to the final.

Ana Ortin-Guillen, 19, a waitress at Ristorante Roma on the corner of Leicester Square, said the atmosphere on Sunday had been “crazy” but that she was surprised at the behaviour of England football fans.

She told the PA news agency: “(Fans) started drinking around nine, it was so crazy, I swear to God. They were asking for beer… Leicester Square was full.

Leeds city centre
The scene in Leeds city centre the morning after England were beaten in the Euro 2020 final (Danny Lawson/PA)

“The police came, to try and calm them down. Everything was OK, there was no trouble.

“I was surprised because I thought they were going to be really, really mad, but no.

“They were still drinking, still crazy.

“(Today) the street is completely empty. Yesterday night everything was full of water, with glass everywhere, but today it’s really clean so I’m really happy with that.”

Some restaurants in central London sustained slight damage including smashed windows.

England fan Reece Mosley, 19, a bricklayer from Chesterfield, was among those still in the capital dressed in his football shirt on Monday.

He said: “I’m sad, I’m disappointed but that’s England for you, isn’t it?

“We’ll carry on, and we’ll get the World Cup next time, won’t we?”