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Rashford in apology for Euro final penalty miss

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A mural of England striker Marcus Rashford was covered in offensive graffiti. Credit: Getty Images

A mural of England striker Marcus Rashford was covered in offensive graffiti. Credit: Getty Images

Getty Images

IFA chairman Stephen Martin

IFA chairman Stephen Martin

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A mural of England striker Marcus Rashford was covered in offensive graffiti. Credit: Getty Images

Marcus Rashford has apologised for his missed penalty in England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy but promised to come back stronger.

The Manchester United forward was one of three players to fail to score in the shoot-out alongside Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka. All three have since suffered racist abuse on social media.

In a moving message on Twitter, 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 gone differently.”

The 23-year-old, who saw his mural in Withington defaced after his penalty miss before it was covered in supportive notes, promised he would bounce back from the disappointment.

He added: “I dreamt of days like this. The messages I’ve received today have been positively overwhelming and seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears. The communities that always wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up.”

“I’m Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that. For all the kind messages thank you. I’ll be back stronger. We’ll be back stronger.”

Meanwhile, England defender Tyrone Mings has hit out at Home Secretary Priti Patel, saying she cannot “pretend to be disgusted” over the racist abuse sent to England footballers after she “stoked the fire” a few weeks ago by describing players taking the knee as “gesture politics”.

Patel, who suggested a few weeks ago that fans had a right to boo players for taking the knee, tweeted yesterday that she was “disgusted” at the abuse, and Mings took to Twitter later to call her out given her earlier stance.

The Aston Villa centre-back posted: “You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens.”

Elsewhere, the chairman of the Irish Football Association has called for those responsible for targeted racist abuse against English football players to be held accountable.

Former PSNI acting deputy chief constable Stephen Martin said he stands with the players who were subjected to racist abuse on social media following the Three Lions’ Euro 2020 loss to Italy on Sunday night.

Mr Martin, who retired from policing after 34 years in 2020, said in a tweet the abuse was “outrageous and unacceptable” towards the three players.

“They are sporting role models who have also used their influence so positively for social good off the pitch,” he said.

“I stand with them. The bullies must be stopped & be held accountable.”

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