Church of England Diocese of Guildford Dunsfold


13 Jul 2021, 10:15 a.m.

In the wake of the racist abuse aimed particularly at England players Marcus Rashford, Jason Sancho and Bukayo Saka, the General Synod released this statement.

"On behalf of the General Synod we wish to applaud the achievements of the England men’s football team in reaching the final of Euro 2020.

"The multicultural composition of the team, and the sense of mutual support which they exude is a model for the whole country.

"As officers of the General Synod we wish to express our deep disappointment and concern that the achievement has been marred by disgraceful racial abuse."

The statement, which was circulated to Synod members in a notice paper, is signed by the following:

Stephen Cottrell, Archbishop of York

Simon Butler, Prolocutor of the Province of Canterbury

Joyce Jones, Prolocutor of the Province of York

Jamie Harrison, Chair of the House of Laity, and Liz Paver, Vice Chair of the House of Laity.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who is on sabbatical and not attending Synod, also tweeted that those engaging in racial abuse "must be held accountable."

He said: "This @England team are an example, a gift and a reflection of what’s best about this country. Rashford, Sancho and Saka showed incredible courage in stepping up to take penalties. Those who are racially abusing them show the opposite and must be held accountable."