Police investigating racist abuse of England players after Euro 2020 final make 11 arrests

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were abused after missing penalties in England's defeat against Italy in Euro 2020 final at Wembley in July; 207 posts on social media identified as criminal, say UK Football Policing Unit

Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford were targeted with racist abuse on social media after England's Euro 2020 final defeat
Image: Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford were targeted with racist abuse on social media after England's Euro 2020 final defeat

Police investigating the online racial abuse of England players following the Euro 2020 final against Italy have made 11 arrests so far.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were victims of abuse after they missed penalties in the shoot-out defeat at Wembley last month.

The UK Football Policing Unit say that of the 207 posts on social media identified as criminal, 123 accounts belong to individuals outside the United Kingdom.

The details of those individuals and cases are in the process of being passed on to the relevant countries to act on them.

A total of 34 accounts have so far been identified as being in the UK, and 11 of these account holders have now been arrested.

Chief Constable Mark Roberts, National Police Chiefs' Council Football Policing lead, 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 11 individuals. I would like to thank Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for responding to our requests promptly.

"In the meantime, we are seeking engagement with the players themselves to offer our support, and seek their input for our investigation and subsequent prosecutions in conjunction with the CPS."

Following the arrests the FA released a statement saying: "We welcome the arrests made as part of the UK Football Policing Unit's investigation into the abhorrent racist comments directed towards England players following the Euro 2020 final.

"We will not tolerate any form of discrimination and we hope these arrests act as a clear deterrent for perpetrators of online abuse who believe there are no real-world consequences for their actions.

"The importance of reporting abusive posts should not be underestimated and we thank the individuals and organisations who have supported this investigation so far.

"We will continue to work with players, fans, our stakeholders across the game and the relevant authorities to ensure that the strongest possible action is taken against those found proven to have posted online discriminatory abuse.

"Social media companies must take stronger action to eradicate this abuse and ban perpetrators from their platforms, and we strongly urge government to expedite the passing of Online Harms legislation to make social media companies more accountable."

We're All In To Kick It Out

We're All In To Kick It Out

Kick It Out and Sky have launched a partnership to end racism in sport.

Hate Won't Stop Us

Sky Sports is committed to making our channels a safe place for debate, free of abuse, hate and profanity. 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.

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

Fantasy Football is LIVE!

Fantasy Football is LIVE!

Sky Sports Fantasy Football is back for the 2021/22 season. Create a team for free, and you could win £50,000.

Around Sky