Euro 2020 final: Marcus Rashford mural defaced after England Euro 2020 defeat to Italy
A police investigation is underway after a mural honouring footballer Marcus Rashford was vandalised after England were beaten on penalties by Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
Graffiti appeared on the artwork, which is on the wall of the Coffee House Cafe on Copson Street, Withington, in the wake of the Three Lions’ defeat on Sunday evening.
Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said they were alerted to the damage – which they described as “racially aggravated” – at about 2.50am on Monday.
No arrests have been made and inquiries are ongoing.
Chief Superintendent Paul Savill, of GMP’s City of Manchester division, 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.”
Meanwhile, England head coach Gareth Southgate described the racist online abuse directed at some of England’s players after the final defeat as “unforgivable”.
Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were all targeted by abusive posts in the wake of their missed penalties in the shoot-out.
Figures within the sport, from the Government and even the Duke of Cambridge were united in their condemnation for the abuse, and Southgate said: “For some of them to be abused is unforgivable really.
“I know a lot of that has come from abroad, that people who track those things have been able to explain that, but not all of it.
“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.
“We heal together as a team now, and we’re there for them, and I know that 99 per cent of the public will be as well.
“Bukayo in particular has been an absolute star in this tournament, (he has shown) incredible maturity and the way he has played has brought a smile to so many people’s faces. He’s become such a popular member of the group and I know he has got everybody’s support.”
In the aftermath of Sunday’s final, social media newtwork Twitter said it had proactively removed more than 1,000 posts over the past 24 hours which violated its policy and also taken swift action to permanently suspend a number of accounts.
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.