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England players meet with police amid racism fears at Euro 2024

Police officers have briefed England players ahead of Euro 2024 with racism fears ahead of the tournament rife among both parties.

A number of English players received abuse after Euro 2020 and will be hoping that a repeat doesn't happen again this time.

Police brief England players on racism fears ahead of Euro 2024

Marcus Rashford and several other England players have racism fears at Euro 2024
Photo by Icon Sport

Terrible abuse at Euro 2020

Despite the Three Lions reaching the final and only losing on penalties, several players, specifically Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were the targets of vile racist abuse from so-called supporters after the game.

It was a truly shameful moment in the history of English sport, let alone football, and was a reminder that, despite us as a society making improvements in this area, we would be foolish to think that the issue of racism was no longer prevalent in the UK.

With that in mind, it is no wonder that several English players, and the police, have racism fears heading into Euro 2024.

What have the police said?

Chief police constable, Mark Roberts, insisted that they will take all online racist abuse seriously should it occur, saying: “We’ve given them some advice on how they can protect themselves with setting up their own accounts to try and prevent it happening, and to reassure them that we are there.

“If people do engage in this behaviour we will deal with it and, where possible, we will prosecute.”

Before firing a warning at supporters all over the country, sternly stating that “Where someone is in this country, if they think they can do that and remain anonymous, they can’t – we will find them.

“And I’d ask them, when they’re thinking about typing something, throw it forward six months, when you’re going up the steps to court… you maybe lose your job or are thrown out of university. It’s really not worth it for a moment of stupidity.”

A disappointing reality

The fact that what many players perceive to be the biggest threat to their safety at a major tournament hosted abroad originates within their own country's fanbase, is a damning reflection of the reality we currently find ourselves in.

Racism in any form is never acceptable, and until it is eradicated from the sport completely and permanently, more work must continue to be done to ensure we are always moving towards that common goal.


Harry Dowsett

Freelance football writer with experience writing for multiple digital platforms, such as GIVEMESPORT. Recently graduated from Portsmouth University with a media studies degree - completing a dissertation on the evolution of sports journalism in the process. He has a love for Arsenal Football Club and a passion for football as a whole.

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