Why did England take off their medals? Reason players removed runners-up medals after Euro 2020 final
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Gareth Southgate’s side were devastated following a tense penalty shootout that decided the final winner of this summer’s UEFA tournament on Sunday (11 July).
Misses from young stars Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka led to Italy winning at Wembley 3-2 on penalties after a 1-1 deadlock and extra time.
A number of the England team, including goal scorer Luke Shaw, then took off their silver medals during the trophy ceremony.
So, why did England take their medals off?
Here’s what you need to know.
Why did England take their medals off?
England’s Euro 2020 team were understandably gutted to miss out on ending their 55-year wait for a major trophy as Italy claimed the crown.
As well as Shaw, fan-favourite Jack Grealish, along with Phil Foden, Mason Mount and Kalvin Phillips, were among the players to quickly remove their runners-up accolades during the trophy presentation.
Captain Harry Kane was the first player to be given his silver medal by UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin - but appeared to be getting ready to remove it before he walked out of shot of TV cameras.
Later, he was asked if a runners-up medal was an achievement or a missed opportunity.
He said: "I think, for sure, a missed opportunity right now.
"It's not every day you get to a final, especially for your national team. It's been 55 years since our last one.
"The opportunity was there for us, we didn't quite take it. That's going to hurt for a long, long time.
"That's football. You've got to get on with it and move on."
It was clear that England’s players and manager Southgate were devastated by the defeat, with both Saka and Sancho breaking down in tears on the pitch after the penalties loss.
How did football fans react to the medal removal?
Fans put the medal removal down to England’s disappointment over the loss.
One Twitter user asked if there was a reason why Southgate’s side were taking their medals off right after receiving them.
Someone replied: “You see that a lot in football. Right after defeat it’s hard to appreciate the silver medal as it’s just a sign of losing so they take it off right away.”
Another social media user added: “Cause they’ve just lost the biggest game of their lives and they don’t want to wear something that represents that.”
But other fans watching the game were quick to say exactly what they thought of the silver medal removal.
Social media users blasted the England players for taking their accolades off, with some calling the decision a sign of “poor sportsmanship” and “disrespectful”.
One Twitter user wrote: “The disrespect the England players show by taking those medals off.”
Another user called the move “childish”, while someone else said: “Removing medals after a loss does not sit well with me in sports.”
And someone else added: “Taking the medals off is EXACTLY why the rest of the UK don’t support England.”
Another football fan said: “England showing a real lack of respect by removing their silver medals as soon as they’re given. Poor sportsmanship no matter how disappointed they must be.”
Meanwhile, other people praised the team’s “huge achievement” and said they should be keeping their medals on in an act of pride.
“They made it to penalties in the final so were a very close second and should be proud,” someone wrote.