A petition to ban racist football fans from the game for life has gone viral, with hundreds of thousands of fans signing to show their support.
The change.org page, launched after members the England football team in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final were racially abused by their own ‘fans’, had already reached more than close to 850,000 signatories by early Tuesday afternoon (July 13) and is heading for the million mark.
The request, to ‘Ban racists for life from all football matches in England’, is being made by a group of multi-national football fans, Shaista, Amna, and Huda, who have branded themselves #TheThreeHijabis.
READ MORE: Black England fan racially abused after leaving East London bar told England lost ‘because of Black players’
Gareth Southgate consoles Jadon Sancho following defeat in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England
(Image: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
The group are demanding the urgent change from The Football Association (FA), as well as Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Secretary of State Oliver Dowden, following what they described as the “vile racist abuse” directed at England players.
Shaista, Amna and Huda’s joint statement reads: “As multi-racial football fans, we finally feel represented by this anti-racist and inclusive England team.
“We could not be more proud or inspired by our magnificent team and by their talent, bravery, leadership and love for all.
“Gareth Southgate’s England team plays for ALL of us. Their vision is an inclusive vision and this matters more than EVER – it’s why we feel proud of this team and why they’re so cherished and loved by many of us.
“There should be no room for racists and bigotry in football or society.
“We are calling for the Football Association and the government to work together now to ban all those who have carried out racist abuse, online or offline, from all football matches in England for life.”
Bukayo Saka is one of those England players who has received racist abuse
(Image: Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
The statement concludes: “Our England team stood up for all of us – now we must stand up for them.”
The dramatic call to action comes after football fans across the globe were horrified by the racist comments directed at England football players Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho on social media following the game.
The England team said they were “disgusted” at the discriminatory abuse which flooded the trio’s social media pages after they all missed penalties for England during Sunday night’s match, in which Italy triumphed.
The FA released a statement shortly after the game ended: “We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team.
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“We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.
“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.”
The governing body of the sport also called on social media companies to “step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan also tweeted to say social media companies need to “act immediately to remove and prevent this hate,” and the Metropolitan police issued a statement to say they would be investigating the “unacceptable” abuse.
Were you impacted by the behaviour of football fans in London over the Euros? Email [email protected]
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