Disgusting slurs and monkey emojis flooded Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka’s social media accounts after the Three Lions fell to Italy during a tense penalty shootout.
The prime minister threw his support behind the players this morning, tweeting that they ‘deserved to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media’.
He added: ’Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.’
The Metropolitan Police has launched an investigation into the online abuse, as thousands of fans and public figures condemn it.
The Football Association has warned that any fan who took part in the ‘disgusting behaviour’ is ‘not welcome in following the team.
A spokesperson said: ‘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.
‘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.’
As many called on those responsible to face prosecution, one fan said: ‘Why fully grown people take to social media to racially abuse players is something I will never be able to comprehend. After all the joy this England side gave us I’m once more #ashamed to be English.’
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.
Another wrote: ‘I stand with Rashford. I stand with Sancho. I stand with Saka. I stand with a whole team of brilliant men who made us all proud & represent the best this country has to offer I reject everything about the Racists & Shape Shifters who represent the worst’.
It comes after England players stood against racism by taking the knee at the start of every single game – despite booing from the crowd.
Home Secretary Priti Patel has previously insisted fans have a right to boo players who kneel.
She said today ‘vile racist abuse has no place in our country’, adding: ‘I back the police to hold those responsible accountable.’
Shadow justice secretary David Lammy shared images of some racist abuse posted on social media in the wake of the men’s team defeat, tweeting: ‘This is why we take the knee.’
The Labour MP added: ‘Praying for a better future – worthy of the values, beauty and respect exemplified by every single England player.’
London Mayor Sadiq Khan called on social media companies to hold users responsible for sending online abuse.
He wrote on Twitter: ‘There is absolutely no place for racism in football or anywhere else.
‘Those responsible for the disgusting online abuse we have seen must be held accountable – and social media companies need to act immediately to remove and prevent this hate.’