THE racial abuse aimed at the English football team in the wake of their Euro 2020 defeat was roundly condemned by the newspapers.

The Daily Mail

Robert Hardman said a ‘malignant few ‘were responsible for the racist abuse on social media.

“The sooner the custodians of cyberspace lift the cloak of anonymity around it, the sooner those creatures will crawl back under their rock,” he said. “Late on Sunday, I walked through streets carpeted with beer cans, smashed glass and pools of Lord-knows-what to get the last train back to London from Wembley Central. Christmas had come early for coronavirus. Here was a fetid, airless, confined space rammed with maskless, hoarse, coughing young men, all singing at the tops of their voices.”

He said there was precious little sign of authority in the streets around London after the match and asked if the scenes which tarnished what has been a great tournament would have spoiled our chances as World Cup hosts.

The Daily Express

Leo McKinstry said the players had emerged as heroes who have brought a new spirit of unity to the country.

“The same cannot be said of the mindless yobs and racists who so badly tarnished the climax to the Euros with their disgusting behaviour on Sunday,” he said. “Drunken thuggery, vile abuse on social media, vandalism, anti-police violence and brutish intimidation all featured in this catalogue of shame.”

He said they liked to think of themselves as England supporters but were nothing of the sort.

“Rather than celebrating diversity, the bigots used online platforms to lash out at Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka – the three black players who missed penalties in the shoot-out,” he said. “The abuse was matched by disgraceful scenes in both central London and Wembley, where hundreds of ticketless opportunists broke through security barriers to get into the stadium. After all the golden memories they have given us, Southgate and his men deserved better.”

The Guardian

Historian David Olusoga said we s hould have been able to spend this week celebrating a second place finish at the Euros.

“Instead, we are forced to defend our national team from an outpouring of hate,” he said. “In doing so we have no choice but to confront the very worst aspects of English football, and the ugliest strains of English nationalism.

“The toxic racism and swaggering hyper-nationalism that has for decades accrued around the English game has contaminated our national symbols, left millions feeling excluded from the national game, and damaged our reputation abroad.

Despite the brutal clarity of this moment, what Southgate’s team have done remains astonishing. They have made an appeal to the best aspects of Englishness.”