Euro 2020

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Lack of COVID awareness at Euro final 'devastating': WHO
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Emma Farge
Publishing date:Jul 12, 2021 • 17 hours ago • 1 minute read • 16 Comments
England fans gather during the Euro 2020 finals outside Wembley Stadium in London, July 11, 2021.
England fans gather during the Euro 2020 finals outside Wembley Stadium in London, July 11, 2021. PHOTO BY LEE SMITH /Action Images via Reuters
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GENEVA — A WHO epidemiologist said she had been devastated to watch unmasked crowds singing and shouting at the Euro 2020 soccer final in London on Sunday, expressing concerns that it would spur COVID-19 transmission, including of the Delta variant.

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Britain is facing a new wave of COVID-19 driven by the more transmissible variant despite having one of the world’s highest vaccination rates. It plans to scrap most remaining anti-coronavirus restrictions on July 19, in a move that worries some scientists.


In unusually forthright comments from the UN health agency, which usually refrains from remarking on the policies of individual member states, its COVID-19 technical lead Maria Van Kerkhove called the sight of the more than 60,000 spectators at the match between Italy and England “devastating.”

“Am I supposed to be enjoying watching transmission happening in front of my eyes?” she tweeted in the late stages of the match.

“The #COVID19 pandemic is not taking a break tonight … #SARSCoV2 #DeltaVariant will take advantage of unvaccinated people, in crowded settings, unmasked, screaming/shouting/singing. Devastating.”

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A day of alcohol-fueled festivities had begun with rowdy scenes in central London and tens of thousands made their way to the national stadium for the game, with flares being let off in railway stations and singing on trains.


British Prime Minister Boris Johnson this month defended the decision to allow more than 60,000 people to attend the final, saying it was being hosted in a “careful and controlled manner with testing of everybody who goes there.” He says vaccines have created a “considerable wall of immunity.”

Globally, the rate of COVID-19 infection is rising. There were over 2.6 million new cases last week, with Europe experiencing a sharp increase of 30 %, the WHO said in its latest epidemiological update.

More than 4 million people have died since the start of the pandemic.

The WHO’s emergencies head Michael Ryan also urged countries last week to use extreme caution when lifting COVID-19 restrictions, so as “not to lose the gains you’ve made.”
 

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England's Black players face racial abuse after Euro 2020 defeat
Author of the article:Reuters
Reuters
Michael Holden and Mitch Phillips
Publishing date:Jul 12, 2021 • 11 hours ago • 4 minute read • 31 Comments
From left to right: Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, Harry Kane, Luke Shaw, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Stirling, Jack Grealish, John Stones and Kalvin Phillips look on during the penalty shoot out during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021 in London.
From left to right: Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, Harry Kane, Luke Shaw, Bukayo Saka, Raheem Stirling, Jack Grealish, John Stones and Kalvin Phillips look on during the penalty shoot out during the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final between Italy and England at Wembley Stadium on July 11, 2021 in London. PHOTO BY LAURENCE GRIFFITHS /Getty Images
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LONDON — Black players in the England soccer team have been subjected to a storm of online racist abuse after their defeat in the final of Euro 2020, drawing wide condemnation from the squad’s captain, manager, royalty, religious leaders and politicians.

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Marcus Rashford, 23, Jadon Sancho, 21, and Bukayo Saka, 19, were the targets of the abuse after they missed spot-kicks in a penalty shootout with Italy which settled Sunday’s final after the game finished as a 1-1 draw.


The comments have prompted a police investigation and wide condemnation, although critics accused some ministers of hypocrisy for refusing to support a high-profile anti-racist stance the players had made during the tournament.

“Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up & take a pen when the stakes were high,” England captain Harry Kane wrote on Twitter.


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“They deserve support & backing not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night. If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an @England fan and we don’t want you.”

England manager Gareth Southgate called the abuse “unforgivable.”

“I know a lot of that has come from abroad, that people who track those things have been able to explain that, but not all of it,” he told a news conference.


The England team have earned praise for their stand against racism, while a number of players have also campaigned on other social causes. The multi-racial make-up of the squad had been hailed as reflecting a more diverse modern Britain.

The team had highlighted the issue of racism by taking the knee before all their matches – a protest made by American football quarterback Colin Kaepernick and followed by the Black Lives Matter movement last year – saying it was a simple show of solidarity against racial discrimination.

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However, some fans have booed the gesture, with critics viewing it as a politicization of sport and expression of sympathy with far-left politics.

Some ministers have been accused of hypocrisy for refusing to criticize those who booed and using it as part of a wider “culture war,” often portrayed as a rift between those wanting to protect Britain’s heritage from a “woke” youth, who see their elders as blocking moves to end racial and social injustice.

“This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote on Twitter. “Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”


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While Johnson himself said the team should not be booed, his own spokesman had initially declined to criticize the fans over the issue when asked last month.

‘STOKE THE FIRE’

Interior minister Priti Patel had also said she did not support players taking the knee because it was “gesture politics” and that it was a choice for the fans whether to boo players. On Monday, she joined those who denounced the abuse, but was criticized by England defender Tyrone Mings.


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“You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labeling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ & then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens,” he posted on Twitter.

The opposition Labour Party said Johnson and Patel were guilty of hypocrisy.

“The prime minister failed to call out the booing so whatever he says today rings hollow,” said Labour leader Keir Starmer.

While the social media feeds of the players also showed huge levels of support, the abuse overshadowed the positive messages.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, said those who abused the players must be held accountable and Britain’s Prince William, who is president of the Football Association, said he was sickened.

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“It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour,” Queen Elizabeth’s grandson said.


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Seven times Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton voiced his support for the players.

The Football Association said fans who exhibited such “disgusting behaviour” were not welcome and European soccer governing body UEFA echoed its call for the strongest possible punishments.

London Police said officers were aware of the offensive and racist comments, and would take action. A mural of Rashford, who had campaigned for poor children to be given more support during the pandemic, was also covered in abuse.

A lawmaker in Prime Minister Johnson’s Conservative Party also apologized after a private message in which she suggested Rashford should have spent more time perfecting his game than “playing politics” became public.


The issue of online abuse of players led to British soccer authorities briefly boycotting social media platforms before the tournament, while Britain is planning legislation to force tech firms to do more.

A Twitter Inc spokesperson said they had removed more than 1,000 tweets and permanently suspended a number of accounts, while Facebook Inc said it too had quickly removed abusive comments.
 

spaminator

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Wild Toronto street brawl the result of a racial comment?
Author of the article:Jane Stevenson
Publishing date:Jul 15, 2021 • 38 minutes ago • 1 minute read • Join the conversation
A wild street brawl, that may have been racially motivated, outside the Toronto Queen Street pub the Dog & Bear during the Euro Final last Sunday afternoon, was captured on video and posted on social media.
A wild street brawl, that may have been racially motivated, outside the Toronto Queen Street pub the Dog & Bear during the Euro Final last Sunday afternoon, was captured on video and posted on social media.
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What exactly went on here and what started it?

A wild street brawl, that may have been racially motivated, outside the Toronto Queen Street pub the Dog & Bear during the Euro Final last Sunday afternoon, was captured on video and posted on social media.

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In the 34-second clip, which has been making the rounds on Twitter and Reddit, two men — one Asian and one Caucasian — throw punches on the sidewalk while an unseen woman behind the camera, possibly taking the video, screams “Hey!” at them loudly right before another Asian man on a bike crashes into the Caucasian man who falls to the ground.

“Oh my f—ing God,” the woman says after the biker slams into the man.

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Then at least four or five people wearing masks, presumably, pub employees, run out of the bar in attempt to break up the fight.

“Get back!” screams one of the female workers.

The original Asian man in the brawl can be heard saying to the Caucasian man now on the ground: “F—ing racist c—.”

Another unseen man goes to the unseen woman: “What did he say?

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The woman responds loudly: “Holy f—! I don’t know. THAT guy’s a problem. That guy’s a f—ing problem.”

Toronto Police said Thursday they could find no information they were called to the incident and inquiries to the pub have yet to be answered.
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