England forward Jadon Sancho says “hate will never win” after he received racist abuse following the Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy on Sunday.
Sancho, 21, Marcus Rashford, 23, and Bukayo Saka, 19, were targeted on social media after all three missed penalties in the 3-2 shootout loss.
England manager Gareth Southgate, Prime Minister Boris Johnson and the Football Association all condemned the abuse.
“As a society we need to do better,” said Sancho in a post on Instagram.
“And hold these people accountable.”
So far four people have been arrested as the UK Football Policing Unit is trawling through thousands of social media posts aimed at the three black players.
In his first social media post since the defeat, Borussia Dortmund’s Sancho said “sadly it’s nothing new” to see the racist abuse he, Rashford and Saka received.
“To all the young people who have received similar abuse, hold your heads up high and keep chasing the dream,” he added.
“I am proud of this England team.
“I want to say a massive thank you for all the positive messages and love and support that far outweighed the negative.
“It’s been an honour as always representing England and wearing the Three Lions shirt, and I have no doubt we’ll be back even stronger.”
Sancho said he was “sorry” to his team-mates, coaching staff and the fans who he felt he had “let down” by missing England’s fourth penalty.
“This is by far the worst feeling I’ve felt in my career,” he added.
“There were so many positives to take away from this tournament though the defeat will hurt for a long time.
“I was ready and confident to take [the penalty], these are the moments you dream of as a kid, it is why I play football.
“These are the pressured situations you want to be under as a footballer. I’ve scored penalties before at club level, I’ve practiced them countless times for both club and country so I picked my corner but it just wasn’t meant to be this time.”
More to follow.