Five people arrested over racist abuse of England footballers after Euro 2020 final
Football fans gather ahead of the match in Leicester Square on July 11, 2021 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images)
FIVE people have been arrested after England footballers were racially abused following the team’s defeat in the Euro 2020 final against Italy.
Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho were specifically targeted on social media after they missed penalties in the final.
Chief Constable Mark Roberts said the abuse was “utterly vile”.
“If we identify that you are behind this crime, we will track you down and you will face the serious consequences of your shameful actions,” he was quoted as saying.
Police said “a torrent of racist comments aimed at some of the team’s black players” appeared on social media platforms on Sunday.
The UK Football Policing Unit said its team was working through “a significant number of reports of racist abuse”.
In a latest arrest made by Cheshire Police, a 42-year-old man from Runcorn has been arrested on suspicion of displaying threatening, abusive or insulting written material.
The force said he was arrested as part of an investigation into a racist social media message, which was posted after the Euro 2020 final. He has been released under investigation pending further inquiries.
Chief Constable Mark Roberts, National Police Chiefs’ Council football policing lead, said the racial abuse “has quite rightly shocked and appalled people across the country”.
“Our England team have been true role models during the tournament, conducting themselves with professionalism and dignity. I’m disgusted there are individuals out there who think it’s acceptable to direct such abhorrent abuse at them, or at anybody else.”
He promised investigation would continue to try to find those responsible and they were working closely with social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Prime minister Boris Johnson has promised to ban people guilty of sending racist abuse to footballers from attending matches.
The UK Football Policing Unit said, as of July 13, 897 football-related incidents and 264 arrests had been recorded across the country in the 24-hour period around the final.