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Portsmouth launch immediate probe into alleged discriminatory messages in U18 group chat

The alleged racist messages were widely circulated on social media on Wednesday and are thought to have referenced Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho who missed penalties in England's Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy

Image: Portsmouth have begun an investigation into alleged racist messages in a group chat involving players from their U18 squad

Portsmouth have launched an investigation into alleged discriminatory messages exchanged in a group chat involving some of the club's U18 players.

Screenshots purporting to be from the chat following England's penalty shootout defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final were widely circulated on social media on Wednesday morning, and the League One club are now looking into the matter.

A statement from the club read: "Portsmouth Football Club are aware of images circulating on social media that allegedly originate from an academy u18 group chat and which are discriminatory in nature.

"The club have launched an immediate investigation and will provide an update once this has been completed.

"Portsmouth Football Club strongly condemn racism and are totally committed to the elimination of all forms of discrimination. There is no place for it in our game or society as a whole."

It is understood the club have notified the EFL and Kick It Out in regard to the alleged discriminatory posts, but at present, Portsmouth's investigation is the only one taking place.

The investigation is being conducted by senior management at Portsmouth and it is understood that it centres on the one screenshot which has been widely circulated on social media and that the club are not aware of any additional abuse within the chat.

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Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho were subjected to racist abuse on public social media platforms following Sunday's defeat.

The Football Association condemned the abuse and said it would do all it could to support the players affected.

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