Erik Pieters: Burnley investigating online abuse suffered by defender after draw to Arsenal

Burnley say they are supporting the defender and his family after threats were sent to him on Instagram; Instagram has removed a number of comments from the post that violate their community standards and are continuing to investigate

Erik Pieters was targeted online following Burnley's draw versus Arsenal
Image: Erik Pieters and his family were targeted online following Burnley's draw versus Arsenal

Burnley have condemned online abuse directed at defender Erik Pieters and his family following the 1-1 draw against Arsenal and the club are investigating the matter.

The abusive comments were made on an Instagram post, where Pieters had wished his wife a happy Valentine's Day. Some contained wishes of harm on his wife and unborn child.

A Burnley statement read: "We are aware of online abuse directed at Erik Pieters following yesterday's game.

"Thanks to all who have highlighted it. We are in contact with all relevant parties and offering our support to Erik and his family."

preview image 3:15
FREE TO WATCH: Highlights from Burnley's draw with Arsenal in the Premier League

Instagram has removed a number of comments from the post that violate their community standards and are continuing to investigate.

Pieters came on as a substitute at Turf Moor on Saturday, replacing the injured Charlie Taylor during the second half and Arsenal felt they should have been awarded a penalty when Pieters looked to have handled the ball in the six-yard box as he blocked a shot from Nicolas Pepe in the latter stages of the game.

Referee Andre Mariner awarded a penalty to the Gunners and gave Pieters a red card but the decision was overturned following a VAR review which ruled that the shot ricocheted off of the defender's shoulder instead of his arm.

Also See:

Erik Pieters blocked Nicolas Pepe's shot towards Burnley's goal in the closing stages of the 1-1 draw
Image: Erik Pieters blocked Nicolas Pepe's shot towards Burnley's goal in the closing stages of the 1-1 draw

After the final whistle, Pieters explained that he felt VAR had made the correct call after Mariner's original decision was reviewed.

"I still felt the burn after I blocked the shot on my shoulder. If the shoulder isn't handball, I was sure I would stay on the pitch," Pieters told Burnley's official website.

"To be honest I was pretty sure to stay on and continue the game.

"He [the referee] was really quick to give me a red card, which I understand because it's his first reaction.

Burnley's Matthew Lowton protests the red card which was given to Erik Pieters before the decision was recinded
Image: Burnley's Matthew Lowton protests the red card which was given to Erik Pieters before the decision was rescinded

"But after VAR it was clearly a shoulder. VAR has had a bit of stick here and there but sometimes they can make the right decision as well."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang gave Mikel Arteta's side the lead in the sixth minute with a low finish at Nick Pope's near post before Chris Wood equalised later in the first half.

The result moved Burnley up to 15th in the Premier League, seven points clear of the relegation zone, while Arsenal are 10th and trail the top four spots by nine points.

2:21
This is the message from Sky Sports presenters and reporters, who have united in supporting a new campaign aimed at raising awareness of online hate and abuse on social media

Hate Won't Stop Us

Sky Sports is committed to making skysports.com and our channels on social media platforms a place for comment and debate that is free of abuse, hate and profanity.

For more information, please visit: www.skysports.com/hatewontstopus

If you see a reply to Sky Sports posts and/or content with an expression of hate on the basis of race, colour, gender, nationality, ethnicity, disability, religion, sexuality, age or class please copy the URL to the hateful post or screengrab it and email us here.

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Win £250,000 with Super 6!

Do not miss your chance to land the £250,000 in Saturday's Super 6 round. Play for free, entries by 3:00pm.

Around Sky