‘Football can be so cruel’: Shoaib Akhtar denounces racial slurs targeting English footballers

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'Football can be so cruel': Shoaib Akhtar denounces racial slurs targeting English footballers

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(L-R) England footballers Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, and Jadon Sancho.
(L-R) England footballers Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka, and Jadon Sancho. 

LAHORE: Former Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar has expressed his concerns over the racial abuse of English players after Italy won the Euro Cup 2020 final.

The Rawalpindi Express shared a picture on his Twitter showing England footballer Bukayo Saka heartbroken after missing out on the decisive penalty in the final match while Italian players were rushing towards goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Following the 3-2 shootout defeat at Wembley Stadium, English players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were targeted on social media after they missed penalties.

“The picture speaks a thousand words. Football can be so cruel,” Akhtar tweeted Monday.

“I hope that Rashford, Sancho and Saka don’t suffer racial abuse.”

The social media abuse of black players shocked the sports fraternity, with many calling for an end to hate speech on the platforms. 

UK Prime Minister BOrish Jonson had also slammed the online abuse, saying that the footballers should be hailed, not trolled.

“This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media,” Johnson wrote on Twitter.

“Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”

Metropolitan Police also tweeted that they were “aware of a number of offensive and racist social media comments being directed towards footballers following the #Euro2020 final.

“This abuse is totally unacceptable, it will not be tolerated and it will be investigated.”

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