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World News

Justin Welby: The England soccer team are a gift and those racially abusing them must be held accountable

by Marcus Jones

The Archbishop of Canterbury is the latest in a line of figures to speak out against the racism experienced by a number of England footballers.

Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka have been subject to abuse on social media following their penalty misses in the Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy.

England manager Gareth Southgate has labelled the racist abuse "unforgivable" while the Duke of Cambridge said he was "sickened" by the messages.

Writing on Twitter, Justin Welby joined the condemnation.

He said: "This @England team are an example, a gift and a reflection of what's best about this country. 

"Rashford, Sancho and Saka showed incredible courage in stepping up to take penalties. Those who are racially abusing them show the opposite and must be held accountable."

His words were echoed by the Archbishop of York Stephen Cottrell who said: "It is utterly shocking and unacceptable that our @England players have received racist abuse on social media after their #Euro2020 final defeat.  

"Praying for a better future where we are all seen as part of one humanity."

The comments come as the government calls on social media platforms to do more to combat racial abuse.

Speaking in the Commons, Home Secretary Priti Patel said the "toughest possible sanctions" were needed.

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