News 3 November 2021

Man Jailed For 10 Weeks For Racially Abusing England Players After Euro 2020 Final

3 November 2021

A man has been jailed for 10 weeks for racially abusing three of England’s Black players following the Euro 2020 final.

After the July 11 final between England and Italy at Wembley, Jonathon Best, 52, took to Facebook to live-stream a video which included a racist rant towards Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka, and Marcus Rashford.

In the 18-second video, Best blamed England’s defeat on “three black c***s who can’t play for f***ing England”, Willesden Magistrates Court heard.

Best was caught after the clip was reported to Facebook and the police.

He pleaded guilty to sending by public communication network a grossly offensive or indecent or obscene or menacing message or matter and will spend five weeks in prison and the remaining five weeks of his sentence on licence.

District Judge Denis Brennan dismissed Best’s pleas for rehab or a pub ban, stating that a custodial sentence is the only suitable punishment for the “corrosive” behaviour displayed.

“The words you used were antediluvian, vile, and offensive – they strike at the very nature of our civilised society and are corrosive,” Judge Brennan said.

“Although you aren’t responsible for the vile abuse against another footballer – Louis Saha – this very weekend, it’s indicative of the way the words you used affect other people.

“It encourages those who want to express similar views.”

He added: “They[other potential offenders] should know the courts in this country will send such people to prison,

“I hope, with this deterrence, that people are educated to behave more appropriately.”

Elaine Cousins, from the CPS, said: “While the majority of the nation took great pride in the Three Lions reaching their first international final in more than 50 years, Jonathon Best took to Facebook to Livestream a barrage of racist abuse at the three players who missed penalties during the game.

“There is absolutely no room in the game, nor elsewhere, for racism.”

[Image by JessicaGirvan via Shutterstock]