Online racist abuse directed at black players in the England squad after last year’s European Championship final has further complicated preparations for the penalty shootout, England manager Gareth Southgate has said.
Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were the targets of abuse after missing kicks in England’s 3-2 shootout loss to Italy after the match ended 1-1 after extra time.
“We went through a penalty shootout preparation process. We definitely went through that again,” Southgate told reporters on Monday ahead of the UEFA Nations League game against Germany in England.
“But indirectly we created another layer of difficulty to overcome a penalty shootout. I have to take all those things into consideration and it’s incredibly complex.”
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Southgate, once the face of England’s failure for their own missed penalty against Germany at Euro 1996, added that he would not let the potential consequences of a miss sway him when selecting shooters of penalty.
“It wouldn’t be fair not to pick the players you think are the best…because of the possible consequences of their absence,” Southgate said. “I have to pick them thinking they’re going to score.”
After the clash with Germany, England will host Italy on Saturday and Hungary on June 14.
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