‘Love always wins’ – England star Bukayo Saka breaks silence on racist abuse after missed penalty vs Italy

Bukayo Saka insists ‘love always wins’ as the Arsenal forward broke his silence after being subjected to racist abuse following England’s Euro 2020 Final defeat to Italy.

The 19-year-old saw his spot-kick saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma, which saw Roberto Mancini’s men reign triumphant at Wembley.

Saka was embraced by England boss Gareth Southgate after his heartbreaking penalty miss
AFP

Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were also subjected to cruel taunts online after missing penalties in the decisive shoot-out

In a lengthy statement on social media, Saka said: “To the social media platforms Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, I don’t want any child or adult to have to receive the hateful and hurtful messages that me, Marcus and Jadon have received this week.

“I knew instantly the kind of hate that I was about to receive and that is a sad reality that your powerful platforms are not doing enough to stop these messages.

“There is no place for racism or hate of any kind in football or in any area of society and to the majority of people coming together to call out the people sending these messages, by taking action and reporting these comments to the police and by driving out the hate by being kind to one another, we will win.

“Love always wins.”

Saka’s miss ultimately proved decisive after Rashford had hit a post with his attempt and Donnarumma had saved Sancho’s effort as the Italians won the shoot-out 3-2, with the sides level at 1-1 following extra time.

He added: “There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was with the result and my penalty. I really believed we would win this for you.

“I’m sorry that we couldn’t bring it home for you this year, but I promise you that we will give everything we’ve got to make sure this generation knows how it feels to win.

“My reaction post match said it all, I was hurting so much and I felt like I’d let you all and my England family down.

“But I can promise you this… I will not let that moment or the negativity that I’ve received this week break me.”