England’s Football Association (FA) says it wants the “toughest punishments possible” for people identified as having racially abused members of the national side after its defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

The sides drew 1-1 after extra time and Italy won the penalty shootout 3-2, with England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who are all black, missing their penalties.

“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.”

Last season’s Premier League was soured by multiple incidents of online racial abuse of black players.

In April, the FA, along with clubs from the Premier League, English Football Leagues, Women’s Super League and Women’s Championship, boycotted social media for four days in response to the continued abuse of players.

The governing bodies of English football sent an open letter in February to Facebook and Twitter calling for the social media platforms to block and take down offensive posts.

Today, the FA again called on government and social media companies to do more to stop racial abuse.

“We will continue to do everything we can to stamp out discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so the abuse has real life consequences,” the statement read. 

“Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban users from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platform free of this type of abhorrent abuse.”

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