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Detectives investigating racist social media abuse after Euro 2020 final arrest 11 people

·2-min read
England players at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium (PA Wire)
England players at the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium (PA Wire)

Detectives investigating racist abuse sent to England players on social media after the Euro 2020 final have arrested 11 people.

A hate crime investigation was launched following racist comments directed at some black players after the game against Italy on July 11.

Social media abuse was aimed at Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka after they missed penalties.

More than 600 posts have been reported to the UK Football Policing Unit (UKFPU).

Of these reports, 207 were deemed to be criminal and the UKFPU made data requests to social media companies. More than 120 of these posts were from accounts outside the UK

So far 10 men and one woman from across the UK have been arrested on suspicion of a number of offences, including malicious communications and breaching section 127 of the Communications Act 2003.

The UKFPU is still awaiting data from social media companies on some 50 account holders.

Chief constable Mark Roberts, from the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said: “There are people out there who believe they can hide behind a social media profile and get away with posting such abhorrent comments.

“They need to think again – we have investigators proactively seeking out abusive comments in connection to the match and, if they meet a criminal threshold, those posting them will be arrested.

“Our investigation is continuing at pace and we are grateful for those who have taken time to report racist posts to us.

“The complexities of investigating social media abuse cannot be underestimated. A vast amount of work has gone in to identifying these eleven individuals. I would like to thank Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for responding to our requests promptly.”

Hate crimes can be reported by contacting your local force on 101. They can be reported online via www.report-it.org.uk. Discrimination in football can be reported via Kick it Out at www.kickitout.org

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