In ongoing development pertaining to the UEFA 2020, former England cricket team captain Kevin Pietersen, UK PM Boris Johnson and more slammed the racial abuse of English footballers after the 2-3 loss England suffered. On Sunday, England lost its final against Italy 2-3, thanks to penalty shootouts.
What could have been a great moment for both the teams turned out to be a disastrous affair with English footballers being subjected to racist abuse by the fans.
The weekend was unlike most for sports fans. With Copa America, Wimbledon and UEFA 2021 final – the fans had stocked up their fridges, called their mates and were enjoying each goal, each pass, each serve and each victory with delight.
Wimbledon and Copa America Goes Smoothly, Chaos at Euro Cup
While the Copa America and Wimbledon finals were carried out smoothly, the Euro Cup final in London witnessed something that most civilized countries claim they have overcome – racism. After England lost to Italy 2-3, courtesy a fabulous penalty performance by the guests, chaos broke out on the streets of London, where the event was held.
Pietersen Gives Account of Chaos
Taking cognizance to the event, former England cricket team captain Kevin Pietersen took to Twitter and claimed that he too was caught up in the mess created by rowdy racist English fans on the streets. In his tweet, he also claimed that he wondered whether England should actually host the 2030 FIFA World Cup or not.
“The walk I took with Dylan to get our car home last night was scary absolutely HORRENDOUS! This behaviour in 2021?? The abuse of the players who gave us so much joy?? Do we actually deserve the 2030 World Cup?”, wrote Pietersen.
The walk I took with Dylan to get our car home last night was scary absolutely HORRENDOUS!
This behaviour in 2021?? 🤬
The abuse of the players who gave us so much joy?? 🤬
Do we actually deserve the 2030 World Cup? 🤔
— Kevin Pietersen🦏 (@KP24) July 12, 2021
After reports of rampant racism and violence broke, the UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson too took to Twitter and condemned the acts of those who perpetuated the violence and the racist behaviour. PM Johnson wrote, “This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media. Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”
This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.
Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) July 12, 2021
“Urging toughest punishments for responsible”: FA
Meanwhile, Football Association too condemned the act and issued a statement which read-
“We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.”
The statement further read-
“We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real-life consequences.”
What really happened after UEFA 2020 Final
To know what really happened, one must need to rewind a few minutes before the final ended and ascertain the cause of such a chaotic mess.
Italy – who had won their past 33 international matches – continued the streak and defeated England at its home in the final. The game had gone into a penalty shootout after both the team had levelled the score 1-1. The Wembley Stadium recorded history after England missed 3 crucial penalties and helped Italy win the game 3-2.
Rashford, Sancho, Saka Attacked
The penalty shoot-out is where it all started. The coach trusted 23-year-old forward Marcus Rashford, 21-year-old winger Jadon Sancho and merely 19-year-old Bukayo Saka to score in the penalty shootout. Obviously, they are great footballers – coincidentally, they are all black players.
Unfortunately, all the hopes of England “bringing it home” were quashed as the 3 young players missed the shootout. As the fans could not comment on anything technical as they sat on the sidelines, barely having an idea what is it to represent one’s team, they targeted the most basic thing they could to abuse these players, the colour of their skin.
In a disgraceful turn of events, the 3 young footballers looked crushed to have missed their opportunities and were consoled by their teammates and manager. Sadly, from the fans across Wembley, London, they were shown no appreciation or consolation.