Why did England players take off their medals after Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy?

The Three Lions lost on penalties at Wembley Stadium on Sunday night

Alex Pattle@alex_pattle
Monday 12 July 2021 11:17
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Prince George reacts to England’s defeat at Euro 2020 final

England were beaten by Italy on penalties in the final of Euro 2020 on Sunday night, as football’s ‘homecoming’ was spoiled by Roberto Mancini’s side at Wembley Stadium.

For Italy, it was a second European Championship and sixth major trophy overall, while England’s men’s pursuit of a first title since the 1966 World Cup goes on.

After Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed their penalties in the shootout, the England team’s heartache was evident.

After being presented with their runners-up medals at Wembley, most Three Lions players removed them immediately.

While coach Gareth Southgate kept his around his neck, captain Harry Kane, goalscorer Luke Shaw, centre-back John Stones and Rashford all removed their medals at once.

Mason Mount did the same, as did fellow midfielders Kalvin Phillips, Jack Grealish and Jude Bellingham.

Goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, who did not play a minute for England this summer, followed suit, along with Kyle Walker, Sancho, Ben White, Ben Chilwell, Conor Coady, Reece James and Phil Foden.

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Removing silver medals has been a trend in the sporting world in recent years.

Manchester City players could be seen removing medals after losing the Champions League final to Chelsea last season, for example, while England players did the same following their Rugby World Cup final defeat by South Africa in 2019.

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While many fans feel the act of removing a medal is poor sportsmanship, many athletes apparently feel that coming second is not something to celebrate.

Sportspeople removing medals is more common in team sports than in individual competitions, such as many Olympic contests, particularly when a direct defeat leads to the awarding of the medal in question.

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