FA to offer Saka, Sancho and Rashford option to pursue criminal action

FA to offer Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford option to pursue criminal action against accounts that targeted them with racial abuse after England’s Euro 2020 final defeat

  • Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were subject to racist abuse 
  • It came after the trio all missed a penalty during England’s Euro 2020 final loss 
  • The FA is to offer the trio the chance to pursue criminal action going forward 
  • Stadium carnage at Wembley meanwhile could scupper 2030 World Cup bid

The Football Association will offer Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford the option of pursuing criminal action against the online accounts that targeted them with sickening racial abuse following Sunday’s Euros final defeat.

The England trio all failed to score in the heartbreaking penalty shoot-out loss to Italy at Wembley on Sunday, scene that have triggered disgusting social media messages.

Sportsmail understands the FA, who are set to hold talks about how the latest instance of racial abuse and the shameful crowd disturbances that marred Sunday’s showpiece will impact on their World Cup 2030 bid, have moved to try and identify the culprits.

Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka were all subject to racist abuse

The trio all missed from the spot during England’s Euro 2020 final defeat against Italy

The FA will speak to and ask the trio whether they want to pursue criminal going forward

English football’s governing body will individually speak to Saka, Sancho and Rashford to discuss the next course of action.

The players will be asked how they want to proceed, with the possibility of criminal proceedings against the users, provided the accounts are traceable, an option.

The FA will fully back any decision to prosecute if the players decide they are willing to go through the process, though historically footballers have shown a reluctance to do so.

The organisation has already been in touch with the relevant social media companies in a bid to ascertain whether the accounts in question are traceable.

The FA are also trying to discover whether the abuse originated from accounts that are based in the United Kingdom or overseas.

Early indications are that a vast number of the accounts linked to the messages came from foreign accounts – a scenario that would add a major layer of difficulty towards bringing criminal charges.

Furthermore, a number of the accounts have already been deleted – with many wiped in as little as eight minutes after posting the messages.

Ticketless yobs broke their way into the ground on Sunday forcing players’ family to flea 

Nevertheless, the FA are determined to support their players and are ready to facilitate any criminal action – but only if that’s the route they want to pursue.

The FA have been at the forefront of English football’s fight against racism. Led by Paul Elliott, the chair of the FA’s inclusion advisory board, the governing body last year launched their successful diversity code aimed at promoting greater inclusion within top jobs in English football.

Indeed, Elliott – who has also been contact with the Government about fast-tracking their historic Online Harms Bill – was consulted about a similar document devised by Sport England and UK Sport.

Nevertheless, the latest case of abhorrent racist abuse aimed players will arrive as a blow to the FA’s hope of staging World Cup 2030 – as will the distressing examples of crowd trouble.

As Sportsmail revealed on Tuesday, families of England players were forced to flea from ticketless yobs who infiltrated their way inside Wembley on Sunday while others were victims of attempted ticket theft.

The issue of Great Britain and Ireland’s joint World Cup 2030 bid will be discussed at the forthcoming FA board meeting – and the damage caused by the fall out from Sunday’s final is sure to be reflected during those discussions.

UEFA hit the FA with a raft of sanctions in relation to last weekend’s showpiece on Tuesday including: invasion of the field by its supporters, throwing of objects by it supporters and disturbances caused by fans during the Italian national anthem.

But it is the perceived failure to sufficiently police the disorder and the despicable abuse players have received that is likely to cause most harm to the 2030 effort.

FIFA will decide on the venue for the World Cup 2030 by 2024, but UEFA president Alexander Ceferin prefers there to be just one bid from Europe; with Spain and Portugal the other option.

Indeed, there is a feeling that Spain and Portugal are already UEFA’s favoured option, a stance that is likely to be reinforced by the events of the past 72 hours. Though the FA have garnered some support thanks to their role in successfully thwarting the controversial European Super League coup earlier this year.

The behaviour of England supporters will come under renewed scrutiny at the start of next season when thousands will be able to travel to the World Cup 2022 qualifiers in Hungary on September 2 and in Poland six days later.

Their conduct will be under the spotlight following Sunday’s shameful scenes with any further disturbances likely to have a detrimental impact on the 2030 bid.




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