Mikel Arteta revealed that Bukayo Saka is a ‘strong character’ and will withstand the racial abuse he received after the Euro 2020 final. The Arsenal manager has spoken to the teenager who missed a penalty in the shootout in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley. Gareth Southgate, Prime Minister Boris Johnson, and the Football Association all came out in support of the teenager for the online racist abuse he received.
“Yes, I have. We all have, I think, spoken to him, sent messages.” Mikel Arteta said about his conversations with Bukayo Saka. “He will be fine. He is such a strong character. He has received a lot of love and support from world football, not only with Arsenal but the national team and all the English fans because he doesn’t deserve anything like [what] he has been through.”
“He has had a phenomenal season,” he added. “In football, you want to be part of the greatest, you have to know today, at 19, that you lose more than you win unfortunately in this game and there are no exceptions to that rule.”
Arsenal got their pre-season off to the worst possible start with a 2-1 loss away to Scottish side Hibernian. Arteta hopes to have a number of players back from international duty soon. He maintained that the time is now for stopping further online abuse and more importantly punishing the perpetrators.
“Hopefully we can use now to make a strong statement and we have to stop racial abuse on social media and people using social media to hide and put people in really bad places,” he added. “Hopefully the laws will become stronger. I think we are all going to try and make a strong case out of that and hopefully, it can have a big impact because I think it is the moment to put that right.”