Jadon Sancho has stated that “hate will never win” in response to acts of racist abuse to England players on social media after their Euro 2020 final defeat.

The 21-year-old was among players Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka who received a flood of racist comments and abuse after they all missed from the spot after the game against Italy went to a penalty shootout.

Sancho, who joined the Hornets aged seven before moving to Manchester City at the age of 14, explained that he had a couple of days to reflect on the final, and still feels “a mix of emotions”.

He said that “we need to do better as a society” and “hold people accountability” after speaking out about the racist abuse for the first time since the final.

In a statement, he said: “I would like to say sorry to all my teammates, coaching staff and most of all the fans who I let down. This is by far the worst feeling I’ve felt in my career.

“It’s hard to even put into words the real feeling, but there were so many positives to take away from this tournament though the defeat will hurt for a long time.

“My first thought before going into any football match is always ‘how can I help my team, how am I going to assist? How am I going to score? How am I going to create chances?

“And that’s exactly what I wanted to do with that penalty, help the team. I was ready and confident to take it, these are the moment’s you dream of as a kid, it is why I play football.”

Watford Observer: A digital mural of England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka in Manchester.(Photo: PA)A digital mural of England players Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka in Manchester.(Photo: PA)

Sancho continued: “These are the pressured situations you want to be under as a footballer.

“I’ve scored penalties before as club level, I’ve practiced them countless times for both club and country so I picked my corner, but it just wasn’t meant to be this time.

“We all had the same ambitions and objectives. We wanted to bring the trophy home.

“This has been one of the most enjoyable camps I've been part of in my career so far, the togetherness of the team has been unmatched, a real family on and off the pitch.

“I'm not going pretend that I didn't see the racial abuse that me and my brothers Marcus and Bukayo received after the game, but sadly it's nothing new. As a society we need to do better, and hold these people accountable.

“Hate will never win. To all the young people who have received similar abuse, hold your heads up high and keep chasing the dream. I am proud of this England team and how we have united the whole nation in what has been a difficult 18 months for so many people.

“Much as we wanted to win the tournament, we will build and learn from this experience going forward. I want to say a massive thank you for all the positive messages and love and support that far outweighed the negative.

“Representing England and wearing the Three Lions shirt, and I have no doubt we’ll be back even stronger! Stay safe and see you soon.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the Government were taking “practical steps” to ensure those responsible for the sort of abuse aimed at Rashford, Sancho and Saka would be barred from matches.

Downing Street said they would seek to introduce the changes to the football banning regime through the upcoming Online Safety Bill following a “swift” 12-week consultation period.

“We will want to introduce it as quickly as possible working with the FA, working with social media companies and others,” the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said.

Separately, Chief Constable Mark Roberts warned courts must get tougher with issuing football banning orders and not accept “sob stories” from defendants.

Mr Roberts, who is the National Police Chiefs’ Council lead for football policing, said that fans who are “bare-chested, screaming abuse” on match day, don a suit for court and avoid a banning order.

Banning orders are issued when someone is convicted of a “relevant offence” linked to a match, including crimes such as disorderly behaviour, making threats against people or property, and possession of weapons or alcohol.

The list also covers crimes set out under the Football (Offences) Act 1991, which include racist chanting, pitch invasion and throwing missiles.

The duration of a banning order, which is used to bar individuals from attending matches and in some cases can require them to surrender their passports ahead of overseas fixtures, can range from a minimum of three years up to a maximum of 10 years.