Euro 2020: U.K. PM Boris Johnson condemns racist abuse of England team

English players Sancho, Saka and Rashford received racial hate comments after they missed penalties during the shootout.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson looks on during the Euro 2020 final. - AP   -  AP

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Monday condemned racist abuse on social media aimed at players of the England Football team after its narrow defeat in the final of Euro 2020.

Police said that it would also investigate the comments made towards Black players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who missed spot-kicks in a penalty shootout against Italy following a 1-1 draw on Sunday.

IN PICTURES - Italy defeats England on penalties

"This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media," Johnson said on Twitter. "Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves."

RELATED - FA condemns racist abuse of players

The England team has been highlighting the issue of racism throughout the tournament, taking the knee before all their matches.

However, some fans have booed the gesture, with critics viewing it as an unwanted politicisation of sport and expression of sympathy with far-left politics.

 

Some ministers themselves have been accused of hypocrisy for refusing to criticise those who booed the team, but now join condemnation of the racist abuse.

"I am disgusted that England players who have given so much for our country this summer have been subject to vile racist abuse on social media," said Home Secretary (interior minister) Priti Patel, who last month said she did not support players taking the knee because it was "gesture politics."

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The issue of online abuse of players led to British Football authorities briefly boycotting social media platforms to highlight the issue, a stand joined by other sporting bodies.

Tech firms have been repeatedly accused of failing to do enough to deal with the problem.

In May, the British government announced plans for a new law that could see social media companies fined up to 10 percent of their turnover or GBP 18 million pounds (USD 25 million) if they failed to stamp out online abuses such as racist hate crimes.

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