Racism in football: Iwobi & Troost-Ekong support abused England stars

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Nigeria internationals Alex Iwobi and William Troost-Ekong have joined the conversation on the racist abuse that certain England internationals have faced since the Three Lions were defeated in Sunday’s European Championship final.

Racism in football was once again present in the aftermath of England’s Euro 2020 final defeat, with Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho coming in for abuse after missing their penalties in the penalty shootout defeat by Italy.

Iwobi, posting on his Instagram story, shared a black-and-white image of the three players, each wearing crowns, as a sign of his support for the trio.

Troost-Ekong, adding his voice to the discussion on racism in football, shared a powerful post from @ukisntinnocent, with a message that reads ‘British when they win. Immigrants when they lose’.

Racism in football: England FA condemn racist abuse

In the aftermath of the final, the English Football Association condemned the racism abuse on social media aimed at the three players, with the FA describing as ‘disgusting’ the messages sent to the players.

We could not be clearer that anyone behind such disgusting behaviour is not welcome in following the team," said the FA in a statement. "We will do all we can to support the players affected while urging the toughest punishments possible for anyone responsible.

"We will continue to do everything we can to stamp discrimination out of the game, but we implore government to act quickly and bring in the appropriate legislation so this abuse has real life consequences.

"Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse."

Racism in football: Iwobi's own experience

Iwobi has himself been the victim of racist abuse during his career, not least in 2019 when he was abused by Bollywood actress Esha Gupta on Whatsapp.

In that instance, Gupta sent personal letters of apology to both Iwobi and Arsenal, although this was another instance that highlighted the presence of racism in football.

Ongoing tensions between England defender Tyrone Mings and the country’s Home Secretary Priti Patel regarding the players’ decision to take the knee in protest against racial inequality before matches were again fuelled on Monday.

The Aston Villa man accused the politician of ‘stoking the fire’ after she previously described taking the knee as ‘gesture politics’, then to express her disgust at the abuse received by Saka, Sancho and Rashford in the aftermath of Sunday’s defeat.