Euro 2020 racism: Gareth Southgate's England have earned the affection of Scottish fans as well as their own true supporters – Angus Robertson MSP

Whether you supported the England football team in the final of the European Championships or not, their loss against Italy by penalties has been made even worse by appalling online racism.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 4:45 pm
England manager Gareth Southgate consoles Jadon Sancho after defeat in the penalty shootout that decided the Euro 2020 final (Picture: Laurence Griffiths/pool via AP)

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who suffered the pain and disappointment of failing to convert their penalty kicks, went on to be targeted by a barrage of horrific abuse on social media. In addition, a mural honouring footballer Marcus Rashford has been vandalised with graffiti.

The English Football Association issued the following statement: “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. We stand with our players.”

Scotland’s Health Secretary Humza Yousaf said “If you're still wondering why English players felt the need to take the knee: solidarity to the players facing racist abuse online, simply unacceptable. Squad can hold their heads up high, took a world-class Italian team right to the wire, not a bad place to be before Qatar 2022.”

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Euro 2020: Humza Yousaf sends message of 'solidarity' to England players facing ...

The whole England squad and their manager Gareth Southgate have been exemplary role models, earning the affection of their own true fans and even from their oldest rivals in Scotland.

While often irked by UK network media commentators, it is difficult find a Scottish fan who has not been impressed by the England players and manager.

It was a massive achievement to reach the Euro 2020 final. They deserve better from an unrepresentative minority of so-called fans.

Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary

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