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England fan jailed for ‘horrific’ Euro 2020 Final racial abuse


A football fan who racially abused England’s Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after the Euro 2020 finally sentenced to 10 weeks in prison. Jonathon Best (52) posted an 18-second video on Facebook in which he made a “very offensive” statement about the players after England’s penalty goal defeat against Italy in July’s game at Wembley. He was sentenced in the Willesden Magistrate’s Court in London on Tuesday after previously pleading guilty to “sending a very offensive or indecent or obscene or threatening message through the public communications network”.

Rashford, Sancho and Saka, who are all black, have received an avalanche of online abuse after failing to score their penalties as England have not won their first trophy since the 1966 World Cup.

The judge, Denis Brennan, said he was considering a suspended sentence but decided to impose a jail sentence to deter others.

“The words you used were antidiluvian, mean and offensive – they attack the nature of our civilized society and are corrosive,” Brennan said when sentencing him.

Best, a forklift driver from London, was reported to Facebook and police by a colleague and Facebook friend after he refused to remove his post.

“When a Facebook friend approached him to ask him to remove the offensive content, Best replied, ‘This is my profile, I can do what I want,'” prosecutor Elaine Cousins ​​said.

“There is absolutely no room in the game, nor elsewhere, for racism. I hope this persecution goes into a way of educating and deterring people from posting hate on social media.”

In August, British police arrested 11 people over racist social media posts following the Euro 2020 final.

Social media giants, including Facebook and Twitter, have come under pressure from politicians and sports leaders to curb racist abuse on their platforms.

The spectacle event in London was also marked by violence and crowd disorder, as ticketless fans forcibly entered Wembley Stadium and clashed with security personnel.

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English players suffered racial abuse during a 2022 World Cup qualifier in Hungary in September.

Soccer’s global governing body FIFA Hungary then ordered that two home matches in FIFA competitions be played behind closed doors – with one of them suspended – and fined 200,000 Swiss francs ($ 219,000).

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