A BASINGSTOKE campaign group has spoken out against the racist abuse faced by members of the England football team and others following the Euro 2020 football final last weekend.

Basingstoke Unites Against Racism (BUAR) said that the insults hurled at particularly three members of the squad, Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, following missed penalties was “sad and disheartening”.

Co-founder Effie Grant said: “It is sad and disheartening that these attacks went as far as defacing murals including that of Marcus Rashford in Manchester and one in Darlington where their numbers’ mural was defaced with racist language.

“It seems that when black people do well, they’re British and as soon as something goes wrong, we suddenly remember they’re not.”

All three players were born and raised in England. Saka has Nigerian parents, Sancho's parents are from Trinidad & Tobago, while Rashford's grandmother was born in St Kitts.

Noting that the incident has had a knock-on-effect in our own communities, including on her own family, Effie continued: “I’ve been told of increased microaggressions at work and at the school gates. Our family has received two racial incidents this past week alone and it left us bruised, wondering where our morals have been hidden?

“It is shameful and we condemn all these acts of racism. Many of us have prayed for these lads to be gifted with extra portions of fortitude and a unique resilience. They have shown their true hearts and leadership in their statements.”

Effie added that, amidst the hatred, she has also seen love and support from many and reiterated that the Basingstoke community can help BUAR continue its work by supporting its fundraising efforts.

From Friday, July 23, orders are being taken for the group’s limited edition shirts, taking a stance against the racist abuse of Saka, Sancho and Rashford.

For more information, visit @4buar on Facebook and Instagram or www.basingstokeuniitesgainstracicm.com and donations can also be made at gofund.me/3e4f3421.