ukayo Saka is one of the youngest footballers to ever play within the European Championships. On Sunday, he carried a load of England on his shoulders because the world watched him attempt to tie the championship match and extend it.
His shot was blocked on England’s final attempt, and Italy won the 2020 Euro, 1-1 after shootout kicks with a 3-2 advantage.
Saka now faces backlash due to his complexion, as do other teammates who are either black or brown and missed shootout kicks.
The game was 1-1 through 90 minutes of regulation and half-hour of additional play. Despite two hours of stalemate, it visited a shootout from the penalty kicks area.
Each team would get five, alternating shots at the goal, and England took a 2-1 lead after two shots per team. England’s two goals were made by Harry Kane and Harry Maguire, a pair of white males. Their next three shots were taken by darker-skinned teammates—Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Saka. Sancho and Saka’s shots were blocked by Italy goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, and Rashford’s clinked off the left upright of the goal and didn’t enter.
Italy netted two goals in their final three shots to require their first Euro title since 1968.
After the sport ended, English players gave comfort to Saka, who was born within the London area to Nigerian parents who moved to England as economic migrants. Fans on social media, and particularly in England, sounded off.