Contrite Brits raise cash for tearful young Germany fan
London, July 6, 2021 (AFP) - Millions in Britain celebrated England's European Championship football win over the Germans, but a darker side also emerged in the online abuse hurled at a young Germany fan pictured sobbing in the stands.
Now one fundraiser has raised £36,000 ($50,000, 42,000 euros), in an attempt to show her family that not all fans are like the Twitter users who resorted to Nazi analogies to revel in her misery.
Joel Hughes, from South Wales, said he was struck by "the vileness of the online abuse, but also the xenophobia, which taps into deeper issues of where Britain is now and how we are perceived on the world stage".
"I thought, you know what, I want do try and do something here, however small it might be," he told Sky News.
Ex-footballer Stan Collymore, a campaigner against racism in the game, re-tweeted examples of the abuse directed towards the girl and her family, who have not been identified.
Hughes was spurred into action by Collymore's condemnation of the reactions, and set out hoping to raise £500 to show that "not everyone from the UK is horrible".
But the total has far-outstripped that.
Sky News said he is now working with the fundraising website JustGiving to find the girl's family, with the aim of discussing a donation to charity in line with the campaign's anti-racism message.