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Bukayo Saka has released a statement in response to the racial abuse he has suffered following England's Euro 2020 exit last Sunday.
Gareth Southgate's side were beaten 3-2 on penalties by Italy, with Saka the third and final player to miss for the Three Lions after Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho.
The England trio were all on the receiving end of racist remarks on social media, having been unable to succeed with their spot-kicks.
Saka's missed penalty confirmed Italy as European Championship winners, leaving the Arsenal star reduced to tears on the pitch.
The teenager has remained silent until this point, but has now released a statement in relation to Sunday's match.
The Arsenal star said: "I have stayed away from social media for a few days to spend time with my family and reflect on the last few weeks.
"This message won’t do it justice how grateful I am for all the love that I have received, and I feel that I need to thank everyone who has supported me.
"It was an honour to be part of an England squad that leads by example, they are brothers for life and I’m grateful for everything that I have learnt from every one of the players and staff who worked so hard. To help that team reach our first final in 55 years, seeing my family in the crowd, knowing what they’ve given up to help me get there, that meant everything to me.
"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."
As well as expressing his disappointment over the result, Saka also sent out a message to social media sites such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook over their polices regarding hateful messages.
The England international has demanded that more is done to stamp out this kind of behaviour and thanked supporters for their kind messages in response to the recent events.
What should be done to stop online abuse? Comment below.
"For those who have campaigned on my behalf and sent me heartfelt letters, wished me and my family well – I’m so thankful. This is what football should be about. Passion, people of all races, genders, religions and backgrounds coming together with one shared joy of the rollercoaster of football," he said.
Saka added: "To the social media platforms @instagram @twitter @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.
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- Arsenal FC
- England Football Team
- Euro 2020
- Gareth Southgate
- Premier League
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