A teenager has been given a six-week jail sentence for racially abusing England forward Marcus Rashford on Twitter after the Euro 2020 final.
Justin Lee Price, 19, was sentenced on Wednesday at Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court in central England.
He posted a racist message on Twitter on July 11 last year after Manchester United striker Rashford missed a penalty during England’s shootout loss to Italy in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley.
Price had intially tried to avoid detection by changing his Twitter username after the post was reported, prosecutors said.
He then denied the offence in his first police interview following his arrest, but later admitted to posting the tweet.
Senior prosecutor Mark Johnson said: “Price targeted a footballer based on the colour of his skin and his action was clearly racist and a hate crime.
“I hope this case sends out the message that we will not tolerate racism and offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Rashford’s England teammates Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were also targeted online following their penalty misses in the Euro 2020 final, leading to widespread calls for a clampdown on racist abuse on social media.
Marcus Rashford struck with virtually the last kick of the game to take Manchester United into the Premier League top four at West Ham’s expense with a 1-0 win on Saturday.
United were insipid as an attacking force for 93 minutes at Old Trafford, but found the breakthrough at the death as all three of Ralf Rangnick’s substitutes combined when Anthony Martial and Edinson Cavani teed up Rashford for a tap in at the back post.
Victory lifts United a point above the Hammers and sees the Red Devils leapfrog Tottenham and Arsenal in the battle for Champions League football next season.
Rangnick has lost just one of his 10 games since taking temporary charge till the end of the season, but once again the result was more impressive than the performance from the German’s side.
Bruno Fernandes looked back to his best with two goals and two assists in the past week and the Portuguese nearly created the opener with a fiercely struck cross that just evaded Cristiano Ronaldo in the most dangerous moment of the first half.
Alphonse Areola was drafted in to the West Ham goal in the absence of Lukasz Fabianski due to a positive test for coronavirus, but the Frenchman was forced into just one serious save when he turned Fred’s driven shot behind early in the second half.
Fernandes dragged another effort wide from the edge of the box as United toiled to the frustration of the 75,000 crowd.
However, Rangnick’s changes made the difference.
Rashford has looked devoid of confidence in recent months, but his first goal since October in a 3-1 win at Brentford on Wednesday gave the England international a lift.
Rangnick claimed that Anthony Martial had refused to be part of his squad for last weekend’s 2-2 draw at Aston Villa as he looks for a move away from the club for more game time.
The Frenchman publicly denied that accusation and was given his first minutes under the interim boss when he was introduced along with Cavani in the final 10 minutes.
David de Gea was nearly caught out by a long-range effort from Declan Rice as the game entered stoppage time.
But rather than snatch a winner, West Ham were hit with a sucker punch on the counter-attack.
Martial played in Cavani on the left of the box and the Uruguayan’s cross just required a touch from Rashford at the back post.
The wild celebrations survived a VAR check against Cavani for offside and there was barely time for West Ham to kick-off in what could be a fatal blow to their outside hopes of reaching the Champions League for the first time.
“Marcus has done remarkable things at a young age and he’s now coming into his best age for a footballer,” said the United boss.
“He’s learning. He’s getting more and more experience. He’s had time to reflect on what he’s done off the pitch as well, because he’s done some fantastic things, and now maybe prioritise his football and focus on football.”
Rashford has inspired a free school meals campaign and was honoured by Queen Elizabeth for his charitable efforts.
He was also presented with an honorary doctorate from the University of Manchester.
England’s Marcus Rashford said he will “never apologise for who I am” in an emotional statement after receiving racist abuse following the side’s Euro 2020 final defeat.
The Manchester United forward was one of three players, along with Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who were attacked by racist trolls after missing penalties in Sunday’s 3-2 shoot-out defeat by Italy.
Rashford’s England team-mate Tyrone Mings criticised British Home Secretary Priti Patel, saying she had “stoked the fire” by defending those who booed players taking the knee.
Rashford has become a hero to many outside football by lobbying the British government to provide free school meals for under-privileged children during the coronavirus pandemic.
“I’m Marcus Rashford, 23-year-old black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that,” Rashford wrote in a statement on Twitter.
Rashford, who came on late in the second period of extra time, apologised for his penalty miss and said “something didn’t feel quite right” when he came to take the kick.
“It’s been playing in my head over and over since I struck the ball and there’s probably not a word to quite describe how it feels. Final. 55 years. 1 penalty. History. All I can say is sorry. I wish it had gone differently,” he wrote.
“I can take critique of my performance all day long, my penalty was not good enough, it should have gone in but I will never apologise for who I am and where I came from,” Rashford added.
– ‘Stoke the fire’ – Images on social media showed a mural honouring Rashford in his hometown of Withington had been defaced before locals covered the hateful language with messages of support.
“Seeing the response in Withington had me on the verge of tears,” Rashford said.
He added that he was proud to have worn the England jersey during his side’s first major final appearance in 55 years, and grateful for the “brotherhood” that was created in the England camp.
Mings criticism is not the first time he has disagreed with Patel.
The Aston Villa star criticised her — after the opening Euro 2020 win over Croatia — for her remarks that taking the knee was “gesture politics”.
She also refused to condemn the England fans who booed the team for doing it.
Premier League teams have taken the knee since last year following the murder of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in the United States.
Patel had said on Monday the racial abuse of the three players was “disgusting” but it did not wash with Mings.
“You don’t get to stoke the fire at the beginning of the tournament by labelling our anti-racism message as ‘Gesture Politics’ and then pretend to be disgusted when the very thing we’re campaigning against, happens,” tweeted Mings.
Mings remarks received support from Patel’s fellow Conservative lawmaker and former defence minister Johnny Mercer.
“The painful truth is that this guy (Mings) is completely right,” Mercer tweeted.
“Very uncomfortable with the position we Conservatives are needlessly forcing ourselves into.
“Do I fight it or stay silent? Modern Conservatism was always so much more to me. We must not lose our way.”
England captain Harry Kane lashed out at those who had posted the racial slurs — following England manager Gareth Southgate who had said the abuse was “unforgivable”.
“Three lads who were brilliant all summer had the courage to step up and take a pen (penalty) when the stakes were high,” tweeted Kane.
“They deserve support and backing not the vile racist abuse they’ve had since last night (Sunday).
“If you abuse anyone on social media you’re not an England fan and we don’t want you.”
The racist attacks were strongly condemned by the English Football Association whose president, Prince William, said he was “sickened” by the abuse.
Former US president Barack Obama has spoken with Manchester United forward and campaigner Marcus Rashford, praising him for the work he has done on social issues.
England star Rashford met virtually with Obama in an online conversation organised by Penguin Books and discussed topics such as the positive impact of reading.
Rashford, 23, last year spearheaded a campaign to tackle child food poverty in Britain during the coronavirus pandemic and has launched a book club to get disadvantaged children reading more.
Obama said: “A lot of the young people I meet — including Marcus — they’re ahead of where I was when I was 23. They’re already making changes and being positive forces in their communities.”
The conversation will be released in full on Penguin UK’s YouTube channel at 1300 GMT on Friday.
Rashford said: “It’s quite surreal isn’t it? I’m sitting in my kitchen in Manchester, speaking to President Obama. But, immediately, he made me feel at ease.
“It wasn’t long before I realised just how aligned our experiences as children were in shaping the men you see today — adversity, obstacles and all. I genuinely enjoyed every minute of it. When President Obama speaks, all you want to do is listen.”
Rashford said he was racially abused on social media following Manchester United’s defeat in the Europa League final on Wednesday.
The forward, who has previously been a victim of online attacks, said he had received “at least 70 racial slurs” following United’s penalty shootout loss to Villarreal in Gdansk.
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Wednesday school meal parcels shown to be poor-quality and low-value were “an insult”, after Manchester United star Marcus Rashford highlighted another embarrassing scandal.
Johnson vowed the government “will do everything (it) can to ensure that no child goes hungry” during the coronavirus lockdown, following criticism that it was failing on the provision of the free food packages.
Rashford, who has been campaigning relentlessly on the issue since last year, again played a key role in pressuring ministers by this week sharing unhappy parents’ images of the meagre food supplies on social media.
The England striker’s calls for action prompted a discussion in parliament.
“I don’t think anybody in this House (of Commons) is happy with the disgraceful images that we’ve seen of the food parcels that have been offered,” Johnson told lawmakers in response.
“They are appalling. They’re an insult to the families that have received them.”
With schools shuttered again this month as part of the national stay-at-home orders, families whose children qualify for free school meals are receiving them in delivered boxes instead.
However, the Department of Education appeared to be failing to meet its own guidance after a mother on Monday shared an image of her meagre parcel, noting its contents contained around just £5 ($7, 5.5 euros) of food.
The boxes, subsidised by the government and issued instead of £30 food vouchers, are supposed to help parents prepare “simple and healthy lunches” for their kids at home across the whole working week.
– ‘Children deserve better’ – Rashford, whose high-profile lobbying last year forced Johnson into a U-turn to provide the free meals to the poorest children during school holidays, said “children deserve better than this”.
“Something is going wrong and we need to fix it, quickly!” he wrote on Twitter, posting accompanying pictures of the meagre boxes.
The footballer said Wednesday he had had “a good conversation” with the prime minister.
“He has assured me that he is committed to correcting the issue with the food hampers and that a full review of the supply chain is taking place,” he added on Twitter.
Education Secretary Gavin Williamson earlier told a committee of lawmakers that companies supplying inadequate free school meal parcels will be named and shamed.
It had been made clear to the entire education food sector that such behaviour “will not be tolerated”, he added.
“There are clear standards that are set there that they need to deliver against and if they do not deliver against them, action will have to be taken,” Williamson said.
Chartwells, the company responsible for the parcel which provoked the criticism, has apologised for not meeting its “high standards” and offered schools refunds for any such cases.
The firm met with Department of Education officials on Tuesday to discuss the situation.
It said in a statement Wednesday it would ensure all parcels met the stipulated requirements from next week.
Manchester United gave the West Ham support the second-half show they did not want to see as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men won 3-1 in the first Premier League match with fans inside the stadium since March.
A crowd of 2,000 Hammers fans saw their side take a deserved first-half lead through Tomas Soucek at the London Stadium.
But United kicked off a huge week with a much-needed win as three goals in 13 minutes from Paul Pogba, Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford moved the Red Devils up to fourth and within two points of the Premier League leaders.
“It’s something everyone knows the game has missed,” said Rashford on the return of fans. “It’s just a great feeling to have some fans back, 2,000 is much better than nothing.”
United have now come from behind to win in all five away league games this season.
“We need to stop doing that. If we keep more clean sheets we will definitely win more games. It is good that we showed spirit, but ideally we don’t want to be conceding,” added Rashford, who was summoned from the bench at half-time, along with Bruno Fernandes to turn the game in United’s favour.
Solskjaer’s side need a point when they travel to RB Leipzig on Tuesday to secure a place in the Champions League last 16 before hosting Manchester City next weekend.
However, the manager’s plan to give Fernandes and Rashford a rest before the trip to Germany backfired as United were lucky to stay in the game before the break.
“Football is ups and downs,” said Solskjaer. “Poor first half. In the second half of course the goal changes the mood, the first one. Great goal by Paul, then Mason’s goal is special.
“I am very, very pleased with the performance. Last week we were 2-0 down at Southampton so this was a step forward, we were only one down!”
Haller slip costly
Jarrod Bowen had a goal ruled out for offside before he teed up Pablo Fornals to head a great chance into the side-netting.
Fornals came even closer moments later when the Spaniard stabbed a shot off the post.
But the goal West Ham deserved came seven minutes before the break when Soucek turned home Declan Rice’s flick-on from a corner at the back post.
Sebastien Haller should have doubled the lead for David Moyes’s men, but the Ivorian slipped with the goal at his mercy after rounding Dean Henderson, who was deputising for the injured David de Gea.
Fernandes and Rashford were summoned at the break and United were a different side in the second half.
Pogba produced the flash of brilliance he is capable of but has so rarely shown in a United shirt to kickstart the comeback as he curled home a long-range shot from Fernandes’s pass.
West Ham boss David Moyes was furious on the touchline as he believed the ball had gone out of play from Henderson’s punt into Fernandes’s path, but VAR could find no conclusive proof to disallow the goal.
Three minutes later, the visitors led as Alex Telles’s cross was brilliantly controlled and thrashed into the net by Greenwood for his first Premier League goal of the season.
United was now in full flow as they could counter-attack into acres of space behind the Hammers’ defence.
Rashford had a sighter as he struck the post from a brilliant Fernandes through ball.
But the England international was clinical with a second chance as this time Mata unlocked the West Ham defence and Rashford coolly lifted the ball over the advancing Lukasz Fabianski 12 minutes from time.
Super-sub Marcus Rashford scored a clinical second-half hat-trick as Manchester United ripped German league leaders RB Leipzig apart on Wednesday to seize control of their Champions League group with a 5-0 rout.
Mason Greenwood looked like grabbing the headlines with his first-half strike but Rashford came off the bench to remind Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he is the main man at Old Trafford and Anthony Martial also got in on the act.
Rashford, who scored three times in an 18-minute blitz, is only the second United player to score a hat-trick as a substitute after Solskjaer himself performed the feat against Nottingham Forest in 1999.
United, who endured a torrid start to their season, have taken control of Group H after building on their impressive opening win against Paris Saint-Germain.
“Marcus Rashford came on and did well but the groundwork was there from the team, that’s what you want from the subs,” Solskjaer told BT Sport.
“What a shift they put in. Leipzig is a high press, the intensity, so we had to dig deep.
“We had to rest a few because the season is relentless, so we used the squad. This group is coming together. The more quality and spirit you have, the more you get the performance.”
Rashford, last week’s hero in the French capital, and Bruno Fernandes were surprisingly left on the bench as United went in search of their first home win of the season.
– Greenwood opener –
Greenwood, who last month was sent home in disgrace by England for breaking coronavirus protocols, started up front alongside Martial.
Julian Nagelsmann’s team started brightly, pinning the home side back but United soon settled, creating openings.
They broke the deadlock in the 21st minute when Paul Pogba drove forward from midfield and fed Greenwood, who stroked the ball with his left foot across Peter Gulacsi and into the far corner for his first Champions League goal.
United had a nervous wait as VAR looked at a potential off-side but the goal was allowed to stand.
Leipzig, last season’s semi-finalists, came back strongly, pinning United back for long spells of the rest of the first half.
Christopher Nkunku forced a smart save from David de Gea and Nemanja Matic reacted to stop Marcel Halstenberg getting on the end of the resulting corner.
United were only showing flashes in attack after the break but Leipzig were struggling to create clear-cut chances at the other end, although De Gea had to be alert to tip over a close-range Ibrahima Konate header.
Solskjaer threw on Rashford, Fernandes and Scott McTominay within the space of a few minutes to change the dynamic and United reaped the rewards.
Fernandes sent a superb first-time ball through to Rashford, who raced clear and slotted past Gulasci in the 74th minute.
The linesman had raised his flag for offside but VAR checked the decision, ruling that the forward started his run in his own half and awarded the goal.
Rashford rifled home again four minutes later to make the score 3-0 but then unselfishly allowed Martial to take a penalty after the Frenchman was brought down in the box.
But the England man completed his hat-trick in added time to cap a devastating display.
“I think the manager wanted me to up the tempo,” said Rashford.
“That for us means going forward. There were definitely spaces there. We got Bruno and Paul (Pogba) on the ball. We looked dangerous throughout and that we could score every time we went forward.”
A shell-shocked Nagelsmann, for whom this was the first defeat of the season said: “It was a bit crazy because after they scored the first goal we did well. The final 20 minutes were very bad.”
Marcus Rashford believes these are “exciting times” for Manchester United after the team scored five goals in a Premier League match at Old Trafford for the first time since 2011 to thrash Bournemouth 5-2 and move into the top four on Saturday.
Rashford and Anthony Martial took their tallies for the season to 20, but they were upstaged by two more stunning strikes by teenager Mason Greenwood.
The front three with an average age of 21 have now combined for 55 goals this season.
“It’s definitely an exciting time,” Rashford told BT Sport. “We are all in goalscoring form; Mason has been on fire, Anthony has been on fire. They’ve been brilliant all season and it’s important to push on now.”
Victory takes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men a point above Chelsea into fourth as they extended an unbeaten run stretching back to January to 16 games.
The Norwegian was delighted with another display of attacking football the sides he played in under Alex Ferguson would have been proud of, but was disappointed that no fans were inside Old Trafford to see it.
“The energy in the team, the goals we score, the will and intent to go forward, it’s just too bad we couldn’t get the fans inside,” said Solskjaer. “That’s a game for the fans definitely, it’s one that the Stretford End would enjoy.”
The only other concern for Solskjaer was a few defensive lapses from a side that had kept 11 clean sheets in their previous 15 matches without defeat.
Harry Maguire and David de Gea were at fault for the only points the Red Devils have dropped since the Premier League’s restart in a 1-1 draw at Tottenham.
Both were culpable again as Junior Stanislas nutmegged the world’s most expensive defender and then fired in at De Gea’s near post completely against the run of play on 16 minutes.
Those errors were not as costly this time as Greenwood, Martial and Rashford quickly turned the game around.
Greenwood’s star is rising fast and the 18-year-old blasted home from Fernandes’s pass to get United back on track.
The hosts were then gifted a second by Adam Smith’s handball inside the area and Fernandes stepped aside to let Rashford net for the first time since January.
Martial completed the set with a stunning strike from outside the box to reach the 20 goals mark for the first time in his career.
The game appeared to be over at the break, but a sloppy start from United presented Bournemouth with a route back into the game.
Eric Bailly replaced Victor Lindelof at half-time and the Ivorian handled as he tried to control a loose pass from Nemanja Matic.
Josh King, who was a United target in January as Solskjaer desperately looked for cover for the then-injured Rashford, dispatched the penalty and moments later Bournemouth had the ball in the net again only for Arnaut Danjuma to be flagged offside.
As in the first half, United’s response was quick and emphatic. Greenwood smashed home his 15th goal of the season on his supposedly weaker right foot to restore a two-goal lead.
“He’s a fantastic goalscorer,” added Solskjaer. “Especially the second one, you know he’s got a left foot to come inside, now defenders will have to think about the outside as well because he can score with his right.”
The signing of Fernandes has been the catalyst to United’s turnaround before and after a three-month stoppage due to the coronavirus lockdown and the Portuguese midfielder took his tally to seven goals in 14 games by hooking a free-kick in at Aaron Ramsdale’s near post.
Rashford also had another goal ruled out for offside, but United were happy to settle for five as they moved into the top four for the first time since September.
Bournemouth remain second bottom and without a point in four games since the Premier League’s restart.
Britain’s government on Tuesday bowed to demands by Manchester United footballer Marcus Rashford to change its policy on free school meals for the poorest children, amid growing concerns about the impact of the coronavirus lockdown on low-income families.
The England international drew on his own experience of growing up in poverty to lead an impassioned campaign for the programme to be extended through the summer holidays.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government had initially resisted making the change, which would see 1.3 million children in England receive vouchers for an extra six weeks.
But as the story dominated the headlines and opposition MPs and members of his own Conservative party backed Rashford, Johnson gave in.
“Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, the prime minister fully understands that children and parents face an entirely unprecedented situation over the summer,” his spokesman said.
“To reflect this we will be providing a Covid summer food fund. This will provide food vouchers covering the six-week holiday period.”
Rashford, 22, won widespread praise from politicians, charities and education leaders for his campaign. He said he was proud to have helped give a voice to “vulnerable parents”.
“There is still a long way to go but I am thankful to you all that we have given these families just one less thing to worry about tonight,” he added.
The striker had written to Johnson and MPs and on Tuesday wrote in The Times newspaper that he understood personally how much free school meals mattered to children receiving them.
“Ten years ago, I was one of them. I know what it feels like to be hungry,” he wrote.
Ahead of a parliamentary debate called by the main opposition Labour party, he urged MPs to put aside their political differences and back his campaign.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon also announced Tuesday that she would extend the meals scheme to the summer holidays in Scotland, following a move already made by the devolved government in Wales.
Johnson had highlighted how much his government has already done to help people hit by nationwide stay-at-home orders imposed in March to stem the spread of COVID-19.
When schools were shut, pupils eligible for free meals were offered vouchers instead, and the government has boosted welfare payments and provided targeted funds for the most vulnerable.
It has also paid the salaries of 9.1 million people in its furlough scheme as of June 14, although new figures show a surge in claims for out-of-work benefits to 2.8 million people in the three months to May.
With a deep recession looming however, fears are growing for how many people will cope when the furlough scheme ends in October.
Several Conservative MPs had called on Johnson to “do the right thing” and extend the school meal programme.
Commentators also questioned why the prime minister was picking such a fight when he was already on the back foot over his response to the coronavirus outbreak, which has claimed more than 41,000 lives.
“@MarcusRashford is right. Public know it. Politicians know it,” tweeted Conservative MP Robert Halfon, the chairman of the Commons education committee.
“He’s lived food hunger and helps food charities,” he said, referring to Rashford’s help in raising £20 million ($25 million) for FareShare, a charity that fights hunger and food waste.
Halfon had previously warned about “an epidemic of educational poverty” after the government conceded most children would not return to school until September.
Earlier, Labour’s education spokeswoman, Rebecca Long-Bailey, said Rashford was “one of the best of us”, accusing the government of being “callous”.
Downing Street has said the cost of the scheme will come to £120 million in additional spending.
A new study from UCL’s Institute for Education found just 19 percent of children were spending more than four hours a day on school work, falling to 11 percent for those on free school meals.
Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford has pleaded with the British government to continue to supply free meals for children in poorer families during the summer holidays in a letter “written from the heart”.
Children eligible for free school meals have received food during the coronavirus lockdown, often in the form of vouchers to spend at supermarkets.
About 1.3 million disadvantaged pupils are entitled to free school meals but the scheme in England will not run during the school holiday period, which starts in July.
England international Rashford, who has helped raise around £20 million ($25 million) for FareShare, a charity that fights hunger and food waste, received free meals as a child.
“The government has taken a ‘whatever it takes’ approach to the economy — I’m asking you today to extend that same thinking to protecting all vulnerable children across England,” he wrote in an open letter to lawmakers.
“I encourage you to hear their pleas and find your humanity. Please reconsider your decision to cancel the food voucher scheme over the summer holiday period and guarantee the extension.”
Rashford, 22, added: “As a black man from a low-income family in Wythenshawe, Manchester, I could have been just another statistic.
“Instead, due to the selfless actions of my mum, my family, my neighbours, and my coaches, the only stats I’m associated with are goals, appearances and caps.”
Rashford, last week named the fifth most valuable player in Europe, told the BBC the letter was “written from the heart”.
“What families are going through now, I’ve once had to go through that — and it’s very difficult to find a way out. It’s very important for me to help people who are struggling,” he said.
A spokesman for British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Johnson would respond to the letter.
“He (Rashford) has been using his profile in a positive way to highlight some very important issues,” the spokesman said.
“The prime minister understands the issues facing families across the UK, which is why last week the government announced an additional £63 million for local authorities to benefit all families who are struggling to afford food and other basic essentials.”
“Guys, I have AMAZING news!!” he tweeted. “We had a goal that by end of June @fareshareuk would be able to supply 3 million meals to vulnerable people across the UK.
“TODAY we have met the financial goal to provide these meals. Thank you all SO much for the support. And whilst I’m celebrating this, there is SO much more to do.”
The England star who is the fifth most valuable player in Europe as at now, said even though he is celebrating the milestone, does not want to stop.
“Trust me when I say, I will keep fighting until no child in the UK has to worry about where their next meal is coming from,” the forward added. “This is England in 2020 and families need help.”
Guys, I have AMAZING news!! 😬😬😬 We had a goal that by end of June @fareshareuk would be able to supply 3million meals to vulnerable people across the UK. TODAY we have met the financial goal to provide these meals. Thank you all SO much for the support (1)
And whilst I’m celebrating this, there is SO much more to do. Trust me when I say, I will keep fighting until no child in the UK has to worry about where their next meal is coming from. This is England in 2020 and families need help (2)