Sport Football British police arrest 11 over Euro 2020 racism

British police arrest 11 over Euro 2020 racism

England players have copped online racist abuse after the Euro final penalty shootout loss to Italy. Photo: AP
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Police investigating the online racial abuse of England players after the Euro 2020 final have made 11 arrests.

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

The abuse has been widely condemned and the government has promised action against social media companies if they do not remove offensive material more quickly.

The England players had highlighted the issue of racism by taking the knee before their matches, a protest which some fans booed.

The UK Football Policing Unit said of the 207 posts on social media identified as criminal, 123 accounts belonged to individuals outside Britain.

“There are people out there who believe they can hide behind a social media profile and get away with posting such abhorrent comments,” Chief Constable Mark Roberts, National Police Chiefs’ Council Football Policing lead, said.

“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.”