London, March 30 (IANS) A teenager was sentenced to six weeks in prison on Wednesday for racially abusing England footballer Marcus Rashford on social media last year after the European Championship final.

19-year-old Justin Lee Price of Worcester was sentenced at Kidderminster Magistrates' Court. He directed a slur at Manchester United striker Rashford, who missed a spot-kick during England's penalty shootout defeat to Italy in last summer's final at Wembley. Price previously admitted one count of sending a grossly offensive message by public communication network at a hearing at Worcester Magistrates' Court on March 17, an report said.  FIFA World Cup 2022: Which Teams Qualified for the Mega Event in Qatar & Major Nations Who Missed Out, Check Full List!

According to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the teenager initially tried to avoid detection by changing his Twitter username after the post was reported. He then denied the offence in his first police interview following his arrest, but later admitted posting the tweet when he was questioned by officers a second time. "Price targeted a footballer based on the colour of his skin and his action was clearly racist and a hate crime," said Mark Johnson, senior Crown prosecutor for CPS West Midlands.

"Those who racially abuse footballers ruin the game for all. I hope this case sends out the message that we will not tolerate racism and offenders will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law," he added. On the other hand, Douglas Mackay, the CPS sports lead prosecutor, said that hate crimes relating to football have risen significantly over recent years.  Real Madrid Coach Carlo Ancelotti Tests Positive for COVID-19.

"The UK Football Policing Unit's internal mid-season report has shown a significant rise in football-related criminality compared to pre-pandemic levels," he said. "At the CPS, we play a crucial role in tackling these crimes and making our national sport inclusive and safe to watch. There is no place for hate in football and hate crimes such as this has significant impact on victims," he added.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Mar 31, 2022 11:47 AM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website