By Faith Nyasuguta
The UK prime minister Boris Johnson has decried the racist abuse against the nation’s football players over their defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020.
“[The England footballers] really do represent the best of our country. And I repeat, that I utterly condemn and abhor the racist outpourings that we saw on Sunday night. And so what we are doing is today taking practical steps to ensure that the football banning order regime is changed so that if you are guilty, Mr Speaker, of racist abuse online of footballers then you will not be going to the match”, Johnson said.
Speaking in the UK Houses of Parliament, he further added that social media networks will be slapped with fines if they will not scrape off racist comments on their sites.
“Last night I met representatives of Facebook, of Twitter, of TikTok, of Snapchat, of Instagram and I made it absolutely clear to them that we will legislate to address this problem, Mr Speaker, in the Online Harms Bill. And unless they get hate and racism off their platforms, they will face fines amounting to 10% of their global revenues”, he adds.
The racist abuse of the English Players has been met with overwhelming condemnation.
In just two days, a petition meant to prohibit racists in football matches for good accumulated over one million signatures. It was set to respond to the abuse.
On Tuesday anti-racism protestors gathered at a wall painting of English striker Marcus Rashford following its vandalization.
Via a Monday tweet, Rashford said ” I can take a critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologize for who I am or where I came from”.
Separately, England manager Gareth Southgate also condemned the online abuse saying it was “unforgivable”.
“They deserve support and backing, not the vile racist abuse they’ve had,” Captain Harry Kane also lashed out at the abuse adding that “If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an England fan and we don’t want you.”