Juan Mata condemns 'cowardly' racist abuse of Man United team-mate Paul Pogba
Last Updated: 22/08/19 12:57pm
Juan Mata has condemned the “cowardly” racist abuse of his Manchester United team-mate Paul Pogba on social media.
Pogba was targeted after failing to score a penalty in the 1-1 draw at Molineux on Monday and was backed by team-mates Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford, who called on Twitter to take action against the culprits.
Mata also believes the lack of accountability for abuse that takes place on social media is a problem that needs to be addressed.
"It is not something we should be speaking about, because it should have been eradicated a long time ago," Mata told ESPN FC.
"That is one of the things about social media. It is fantastic to connect people if you use it for the right things.
"But it also gives a chance for so many people to let go of their frustrations towards other people and with no problems because there are so many fake accounts. There is no identity. Then you can say whatever you want and you are not punished.
"It is a problem. Unfortunately, some people do that and it needs to stop. It is cowardly to do it that way because no one can see you. It is not nice."
Last week, Twitter had agreed to discuss racist abuse with football anti-discrimination group Kick It Out for the first time following the abuse received by Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham after he missed the decisive penalty in their UEFA Super Cup defeat to Liverpool.
Reading midfielder Yakou Meite was also subjected to racial abuse after a 3-0 win over Cardiff in the Championship.
Cyber security expert Eerke Boiten told Sky Sports News that police have the power to demand email addresses and other personal information of racists who post abuse online, but those powers are typically reserved for organised crime and terrorism.
"The vile, racist abuse of Paul Pogba and other top footballers has been rightly condemned within football and wider society," Boiten said. "Twitter and the other social media companies do have information about the email addresses of those abusers, and the IP addresses of their computers where the abuse came from.
"If the police obtained a court order, they could demand that information be provided by the social media platforms, so that they could pursue a criminal case. But various Acts of Parliament dictate that such powers are reserved for the most serious crimes, like terrorism."