Jadon Sancho has insisted "hate will never win" after detailing his emotions following the penalty miss against Italy in the Euro 2020 final and subsequent racist abuse aimed at the forward and fellow England team-mates Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka.
England's penalty shootout defeat to Italy on Sunday led to Rashford, Saka and Sancho all being targeted online.
Greater Manchester Police and West Mercia Police both arrested suspects, while Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that social media companies will face fines amounting to 10 per cent of their global revenue if they fail to remove racist abuse from their platforms.
Speaking for the first time since England's defeat, Sancho thanked supporters for their positive messages, but insisted those sending racial abuse need to be held accountable.
- PM: Huge fines for social media giants if they fail to remove abuse
- Man arrested over racist social media post after Euros final
Sancho said on Instagram: "I'm not going pretend that I didn't see the racial abuse that me and my brothers Marcus and Bukayo received after the game, but sadly it's nothing new. As a society we need to do better, and hold these people accountable.
"Hate will never win. To all the young people who have received similar abuse, hold your heads up high and keep chasing the dream. I am proud of this England team and how we have united the whole nation in what has been a difficult 18 months for so many people. Much as we wanted to win the tournament, we will build and learn from this experience going forward.
"I want to say a massive thank you for all the positive messages and love and support that far outweighed the negative."
Sancho was a late substitute in Sunday's final, and went on to see his penalty saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The forward, who is expected to join Manchester United this week, said he was confident when stepping up to take the spot-kick, but admitted the loss will "hurt for a long time".
He added: "I've had a couple of days to reflect on Sunday's final and still feel a mix of emotions. I would like to say sorry to all my teammates, coaching staff and most of all the fans who I let down. This is by far the worst feeling I've felt in a long time.
"It's hard to even put into words the real feeling, but there were so many positives to take away from this tournament though the defeat will hurt for a long time. My first thought before going into any football match is always "How can I help my team? How am I going to assist? How am I going to score? How am I going to create chances?" And that's exactly what I wanted to do with that penalty, help the team.
"I was ready and confident to take it, these are the moments you dream of as a kid, it is why I play football. These are the pressured situations you want to be under as a footballer. I've scored penalties before at club level, I've practiced them countless times for both club and country so I picked my corner but it just wasn't meant to be this time.
"We all had the same ambitions and objectives. We wanted to bring the trophy home. This has been one of the most enjoyable camps I've been part of in my career so far, the togetherness of the team has been unmatched, a real family on and off the pitch.
"It's been an honour as always representing England and wearing the Three Lions shirt, and I have no doubt we'll be back even stronger! Stay safe and see you soon."
Hate Won't Win
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