‘I felt like I’d let England down… but I won’t let this negativity break me. Love always wins’: Bukayo Saka breaks his silence on his England penalty – and says he KNEW from the moment he missed he would suffer racist abuse
The Arsenal and England midfielder was one of three penalty takers for the Three Lions that missed their spot-kick, along with Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.
Both Rashford and Sancho shared their thoughts in recent days and now Saka has spoken out having been the victim of racist abuse online in wake of his missed penalty.
‘I knew instantly the type of hate that I was about to receive,’ Saka wrote on Instagram, ‘that is a sad reality’.
‘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.’
Bukayo Saka is consoled by England team-mates following his costly penalty miss which led to racist abuse of the Arsenal star following England’s defeat
Saka was inconsolable after missing the decisive penalty which sealed a 3-2 shootout win for Italy at Wembley.
Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips immediately ran over to speak to Saka, who was seen in tears with his head buried in his England shirt.
In his statement, Saka added that he felt like he had let his country down for seeing his spot-kick saved.
‘There are no words to tell you how disappointed I was with the result and my penalty,’ he said.
‘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 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 that week break me.’
More to follow.