England footballer Marcus Rashford released an emotive apology on his Twitter account for missing England’s penalty in the Euro 2020 final. Rashford was one of three to miss their spot-kick in the shootout, which Italy won 3-2. Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka have all been the victims of sickening racial abuse online after England’s defeat.
In a powerful tweet, Rashford explained that his penalty was not good enough, but he will not apologise for who he is and what is his origin.
He also shared pictures of messages written to him by young fans.
Rashford said: “I don’t even know where to start and I don’t even know how to put into words how I am feeling at this exact time. I’ve had a difficult season, I think that’s been clear for everyone to see and I probably went into that final with a lack of confidence. I’ve always backed myself for a penalty, but something didn’t feel quite right. During the long run-up I was saving myself a bit of time and unfortunately the result was not what I wanted.
“I felt as though I had let my team-mates down. I felt as if I’d let everyone down. A penalty was all I’d been asked to contribute for the team. I can score penalties in my sleep, so why not that one? It’s been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there’s probably not a word to quite describe how it feels. Final. 55 years. 1 penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had of gone differently.”
Boris Johnson and other government leaders expressed dismay at the online abuse targeted at England players and Gareth Southgate described it as “unforgivable.”