Bukayo Saka hits out at social media firms for 'not doing enough' to stop 'hateful' messages

England's Bukayo Saka hugs manager Gareth Southgate during the Euro 2020 Credit: Mike Egerton/PA

Social media platforms are "not doing enough" to stop hurtful and racist messages, England star Bukayo Saka said as he pleaded with companies to do more to protect their users.

Speaking for the first time since the Euro 2020 final, the 19-year-old footballer admitted he had been staying away from social media to spend time with family and reflect on the last few weeks.

Saka spoke about receiving hateful messages after missing his decisive penalty kick, which contributed to England's defeat to Italy 3-2 on penalties.

In an appeal to Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, he said: "I don't want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that me, Marcus and Jadon have received this week.

"I knew instantly the kind of hate that I was about to receive and that is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.

"There is no place for racism or hate of any kind in football or in any area of society," Saka wrote on his social media channels.

He continued: "To the majority of people coming together to call out the people sending these messages, by taking action and reporting these comments to the police and by driving out the hate by being kind to one another, we will win.

"Love always wins."

Speaking about his penalty miss, he said: "There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was with the result and my penalty.

"I really believed we would win this for you.

"I’m sorry that we couldn’t bring it home for you this year, but I promise you that we will give everything we’ve got to make sure this generation knows how it feels to win."My reaction post match said it all, I was hurting so much and I felt like I’d let you all and my England family down, but I can promise you this: I will not let that moment or the negativity that I’ve received this week break me.

19-year-old Saka was consoled by his team mates on Sunday night after missing his penalty. Credit: PA

"For those who have campaigned on my behalf and sent me heartfelt letters, wished me and my family well - I’m so thankful.

"This is what football should be about.

"Passion, people of all races, genders, religions and backgrounds coming together with one shared joy of the rollercoaster of football."

He also said it was an honour to be part of the England squad and to help the men's national team reach its first final in a major tournament in 55 years.

Five people have been arrested in connection with racist abuse towards England football players on social media.

Social media companies are handing police the details of accounts involved in racism towards black footballers including Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.