After Euro defeat, English soccer fans console themselves with night of racial abuse

In last night's Euro 2021 soccer tournament final, England was defeated 3-2 in a penalty shootout with Italy after drawing 1-1 during the game, dashing the dreams of a nation hoping to emerge from decades of footballing mediocrity. The headlines the morning after were not about what happened on the pitch, though, but the hatred that followed. England's manager, Gareth Southgate, its Football Association, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson were all forced to denounce many of their own team's fans after they spent the night hurling racial abuse at the team's black players, online and in the streets.

England's Football Association released a statement in the early hours of Monday morning condemning the online racist abuse of players following the team's penalty shootout loss to Italy in Sunday's Euro 2020 final.

"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," the statement 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."

A statement from the team on Twitter:

"We're disgusted that some of our squad — who have given everything for the shirt this summer — have been subjected to discriminatory abuse online after tonight's game."

England Manager Gareth Southgate:

"It's just not what we stand for," said Southgate. "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."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson:

But earlier in the tournament, British politicians and media had themselves done much to whip up the racial animus, with Home Secretary Priti Patel encouraging fans to boo players who "took a knee" to protest racism.

UEFA, European soccer's governing body and operator of the tournament, is not amused.

Fully half the team that led England to its first major final in half a century came from immigrant families.