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Gareth Southgate condemns 'unforgivable' racist abuse of Rashford, Sancho and saka

England manager Gareth Southgate has described the racist abuse directed at players as "unforgiveable" - as Prince William said he is "sickened" by some of the comments.

Southgate has told a news conference this morning: "It's just not what we stand for.

"We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together, in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody, and so that togetherness has to continue.

"We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together."

Asked about how frustrating the abuse was, alongside other disrespectful and offensive behaviour from a minority of supporters, Southgate said: "We can't control that. We can only set the example that we believe we should and represent the country in the way that we feel.

"I think the players...have had a positive effect on lots of areas of society but we can't affect everything. Other people have responsibilities in those areas and we've all got to work collectively to constantly improve those things."

The Duke of Cambridge, who watched the match at Wembley with Prince George and the Duchess of Cambridge, tweeted: "I am sickened by the racist abuse at England players after last night's match.

"It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable."

It comes after Boris Johnson said those racially abusing some England players after last night's Euro 2020 penalty shootout defeat "should be ashamed of themselves".

The prime minister tweeted: "This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.

"Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves."

Image:England's Kalvin Phillips, left, and Luke Shaw, right, console 19-year-old Saka. Pic: AP

He was echoed by Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer who said those sending offensive messages are a "disgrace" who "don't represent us at all".

There was widespread praise for the performance of the young England team on the pitch at Wembley on Sunday evening.

They had come within reach of winning the European Championship, only losing 3-2 to Italy in a penalty shoot-out.

But their performance was marred by the racist abuse, with three black players - Bukayo Saka, 19; Marcus Rashford, 23, and Jadon Sancho, 21 - targeted online over missing penalties in the game's dying minutes.

Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford (right) have received appalling racist abuse. Pic: AP

Image:England's Bukayo Saka shares a hug with manager Gareth Southgate after the match

Prince William said the racist abuse of players 'must stop now'

Police said 49 people were arrested and 19 officers injured

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