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15th Jul 2021

Four arrested over online racist abuse of Rashford, Sancho and Saka

Danny Jones

Four arrested over racist online abuse towards England players

Four people have now been arrested in connection to racist abuse towards the three England players

According to reports, four people have now been arrested in connection to racist content directed towards the England trio, Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford, who all received online racist abuse following the Euro 2020 final loss.

One man in Greater Manchester, 37, is even believed to have handed himself in over racist tweets following the game, while the culprit(s) responsible for defacing Marcus Rashford’s mural with racial epithets in Withington remain unknown.

England lost to Italy on penalties, with all three of Saka, Sancho and Rashford missing their penalties. Unfortunately, rather than the atmosphere being one of pride over the team’s achievement of reaching the final, the mood after was anything but, as fan chaos broke out inside and outside the stadium, while social media was awash with racist abuse.

In a statement issued to the PA news agency, The UK Football Policing Unit (UKFPU) said: “Following England’s defeat against Italy on Sunday a torrent of racist comments aimed at some of the team’s black players appeared on platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.”

They went on to add that, “So far, dozens of data applications have been submitted to social media companies and four people have been arrested by local police forces.” Prime Minister Boris Johnson recently announced a football ban for those found guilty of online racism – a piece of legislation that many found long overdue.

Chief Constable and football policing lead Mark Roberts, of the National Police Chiefs’ Council (NPCC), said: “The racial abuse aimed at our own players following Sunday night’s game is utterly vile and has quite rightly shocked and appalled people across the country”.

Roberts went on to say:

“Our England team have been true role models during the tournament, conducting themselves with professionalism and dignity. I’m disgusted there are individuals out there who think it’s acceptable to direct such abhorrent abuse at them, or at anybody else. The UKFPU investigation is well underway and work continues to identify those responsible. We are working very closely with social media platforms, who are providing data we need to progress enquiries.”

England and the FA have since been slapped with four charges and threatened with a stadium ban for fans in UEFA competitions next year, i.e. the Nations League. Meanwhile, a think tank has apparently told the UN that the UK is “systematically racist”, following what is just yet another series of racial incidents in football alone over the past few years.