Why did England take medals off? Reason football players removed Euro 2020 silver medals after loss to Italy

Majority of the England team were seen taking their Euros runners up medals off immediately after being presented with them by UEFA

England players could be seen taking off their runners up medals immediately after receiving them following defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final.

Gareth Southgate's young Three Lions were presented with their medals by UEFA officials after the heartbreaking penalty shootout loss at Wembley Stadium on Sunday night.

Luke Shaw had given England the perfect start in the final of the 2021 football tournament before Leonardo Bonucci levelled in the 66th minute of the tense and tactical encounter.

Nothing could separate the sides in normal or extra time, forcing the Euros final to penalties where Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka all missed in a 3-2 shootout defeat.

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The majority of England's players then took off their runners up medals shortly after being presented with them - but why did they do this, and what has Harry Kane said on the matter?

Why did the England players take their medals off?

Harry Kane walks past the Euros trophy seconds after receiving his runners up medal from the Euro 2020 final. (Pic: Getty)

Hopes of England ending their long wait for a second major trophy were dashed in a tense penalty shootout defeat to Italy in the final of Euro 2020.

As is customary in the final, the losing side goes up first to collect their runners up medals before the winners receive their medals and the trophy is presented.

England players, including captain Harry Kane, goalscorer Luke Shaw, Mason Mount, Phil Foden, Jack Grealish, Aaron Ramsdale, and Jude Bellingham all took off their medals.

Kane, who scored England's first spot kick in the shootout, was later asked if a runners up medal was considered an achievement or a missed opportunity.

Tyrone Mings and Jadon Sancho take off their Euro 2020 runners up medals as England teammates collect their own after defeat to Italy. (Pic: Getty)

He said: "I think, for sure, a missed opportunity right now.

"It's not every day you get to a final, especially for your national team. It's been 55 years since our last one.

"The opportunity was there for us, we didn't quite take it. That's going to hurt for a long, long time.

"That's football. You've got to get on with it and move on."

Harry Kane pictured holding Euro 2020 silver medal after final defeat to Italy. (Pic: Getty)

How did social media react to England players taking medals off?

The decision by England players to immediately take their runners up medals off split opinion on social media in the hours that followed the Euro 2020 final presentation.

One Twitter user said: "What is it with the @England players removing their runners up medals!? How disrespectful! Be an example to youngsters and show some humility!"

In the replies, someone said: "I have seen so many teams do it. Ronaldo did it. They are just so traumatised. They just been through a penalty shootout."

Another added: "They do it because they are disappointed and know they can do better."

Someone else wrote: "Poor example to children to show, heh. Only winning matters."

Another posted: "I really don’t get why England players took off the medals so quickly and dismissively. Bad vibe x sport. They played well throughout the tournament. Period."

Someone else said: "Next to none of England's players keeping their silver medals on after being presented with it. Hold the feeling. Box it. There's a World Cup in 18 months."

And another wrote: "Most of the England players, when presented with their silver medals, took them straight off. Like that. Came to win and fell just short. So much young talent, it’s just the start."

Have players taken off runners up medals before?

England's Euro 2020 finalists aren't the only sportspeople to take their runners up medals off.

It has become a trend in recent years among different teams who are of the feeling that coming second is not something to celebrate or they want to be reminded of in the future.

The act splits opinion among fans of different sports who may believe it represents poor sportsmanship, and that the athletes may view the medal differently in years to come.

England's men's rugby team removed their runners up medals after defeat to South Africa in the 2019 World Cup final, while the trend is less common in individual sports or at the Olympics.