ONE million people have signed an online petition set up by an Oxford City councillor calling for racists to be banned from all football matches in England.

The petition, which only went live on Monday morning, was created by Labour councillor Shaista Aziz and her two friends Amna and Huda and has gone viral on social media.

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It has hundreds of thousands of signatures which Ms Aziz says shows 'the mood of decent minded people in our country' following the racist abuse that was targeted at England's Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho after they missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final.

The councillor, who watched the match at her friend's house near Wembley Stadium on Sunday, said: "To a lot of people of colour, it's not shocking for us that this is what's happened. To a lot of our white friends and family, they are shocked and I think that tells a story in itself.

Oxford Mail: Pic: PA WirePic: PA Wire

"So on Monday morning I woke up with a very heavy heart, not based on the defeat - because I think England did really well - , but based on the despicable levels of racism, shameful abuse that's been thrown at these players and the fact that it was so rampant.

"I had a meeting with my friends and decided to put this petition together to call on a lifetime ban on these racists - they're not fans, they're racists - and I asked them what they thought and they said yes we should do it.

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"I think what this petition has done is capture the mood of decent minded people in our country who are absolutely stricken by what has happened and people who feel very passionate about football but also about creating a society where everybody can thrive and where racism and bigotry is challenged."

Ms Aziz wants the Government to work with big organisations such as the FA to 'stamp out' racism by making sure that 'any racist who claims to be a football fan' is banned from attending any future matches in England.

She added: "These football clubs are powerful organisations as is the FA and it's their job to make sure that football is safe for everyone and that racism is not allowed to thrive through the lens of football."

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A tweet posted by Ms Aziz along with a photo of herself with Amna and Huda on July 4 also went viral. The trio call themselves 'The Three Hijabis' and appeared on several media outlets on Tuesday including BBC News and Loraine discussing the issue of racism in football.

They want to spread the message that representation and inclusivity within the England team and football in general is important.

Ms Aziz added: "We are three Muslim women who wear the hijab. You very rarely see Muslim women anywhere, you certainly don't see them in relation to football. You never see Muslim women talking about football. Representation matters, when you can identify with people it makes you want to change the narrative further.

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"Another reason why we set up the petition is because we wanted to take the narrative back from the racists and the bigots.

"The narrative we're reclaiming is that football does not belong to you it belongs to all of us, it's our national sport and it's part of the culture currency in this country."

To sign the petition, go to

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