The petition, entitled 'Ban racists for life from all football matches in England', was set up by anti-racism campaigner Shaista Aziz and her friends under the name of The Three Hijabis. (Representative image: Reuters)
More than seven lakh people have signed a petition calling for people who racially abuse football players after their narrow defeat in the final of Euro 2020 to be banned from grounds in England for life.
Three England players -- Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka -- were subjected to online abuse after they had missed spot-kicks in a penalty shootout with Italy, which settled the final. Italy won 3-2 on penalties following a 1-1 draw after extra time at Wembley Stadium on July 11.
The racial abuse has been widely condemned, including by the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Prince William and the Football Association (FA).
Now lakhs of supporters want the government and football authorities to go further and introduce a lifetime ban for people who racially abuse players.
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The petition, entitled 'Ban racists for life from all football matches in England', was set up by anti-racism campaigner Shaista Aziz and her friends under the name of The Three Hijabis.
The change.org petition reads: “As multi-racial football fans, we finally feel represented by this anti-racist and inclusive England team. We could not be more proud or inspired by our magnificent team and by their talent, bravery, leadership and love for all.”
“Gareth Southgate’s England team plays for ALL of us. Their vision is an inclusive vision and this matters more than EVER - it’s why we feel proud of this team and why they’re so cherished and loved by many of us. There should be no room for racists and bigotry in football or society,” it further said.
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The petition called for a lifetime ban on those who racially abused the England players, online or offline. “We are calling for the Football Association and the government to work together now to ban all those who have carried out racist abuse, online or offline, from all football matches in England for life,” it appealed, saying “our England team stood up for all of us - now we must stand up for them.”
The petition has so far been signed by 7,09,461 people till 10 am on July 13. One of the supporters said, “There is no place for racism in this world. I want my children to grow in a world full of love, peace and positivity where everyone is equal and accepted.”
It has also garnered the support of celebrities, including comedian Eddie Izzard, Rugby legend and England World Cup winner Phil Vickery and glamour model Katie Price to name a few.