Hundreds of thousands call for lifetime football match ban for racists after England players abused

England players have received racial abuse on social media. Credit: PA

A petition to serve racists with a lifetime ban from football games, after England players received abusive messages, has gained three quarters of a million signatures in 24 hours.

The page was set up in response to racist social media posts directed at footballers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after England's Euro 2020 final loss on Sunday.

The three players missed penalties in the 3-2 shootout against Italy.

Football fans Shaista Aziz, Amna Abdullatif and Huda Jawad have called for the Football Association to work with the government to ban perpetrators of racist abuse from all matches in England for life.

Amna, one of the petition's organisers, tells ITV News Granada that racist abuse has become 'way too normalised'

At the time of writing, more than 600,000 people had signed the petition.

"As multi-racial football fans, we finally feel represented by this anti-racist and inclusive England team," the petition reads.

"There should be no room for racists and bigotry in football or society."

The three women had hoped to gain 500,000 signatures, which would make theirs one of the most signed petitions on but it has easily surpassed that.

It has been shared on social media by various public figures, such as comedian Eddie Izzard and actors Will Poulter and Russell Tovey.

The condemnation follows similar outrage across the political spectrum, from royalty, and the footballing world.

"You're not England fans and we don't want you," England captain Harry Kane said.

The prime minister said racist abusers should "crawl back under a rock"

"To those who have been directing racist abuse at some of the players, I say: shame on you, and I hope you will crawl back under the rock from which you emerged," Mr Johnson said at a briefing on Monday.

Home Secretary Priti Patel also tweeted her "disgust" at the abuse faced.

But some comments from the government have been criticised following both the PM and Ms Patel's stance on players taking the knee in support of Black Lives Matter.

Retweeting Ms Patel's condemnation of the abuse, England star Tyrone Mings wrote: "You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens."

Last month, Mings said the home secretary was "one of many" who "oppose... or refuse to defend" national team players taking the knee before games.

Both the Prime Minister and Priti Patel have previously described the action as “gestures”.

The Duke of Cambridge has said he was "sickened" by the abuse.

Prince William, who is president of the FA, said: "It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable."

The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall tweeted message of support featuring a quote by Prince Charles celebrating the UK's diversity.

Former FA Chairman Lord Triesman said: “I share the view that people who were displaying their hooliganism and racism are scum. They have nothing to do with England or its football team.

“As chairman of the FA I sought legislation which would enable us to ban for life – one strike and they are out – anybody convicted of any of these crimes from every football ground in the United Kingdom, no excuses, no second chances, would the Government support that?”