Police make four arrests over racist abuse to England players

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Police have arrested four people for racially abusing England players online after England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were all targeted after missing penalties during their shootout defeat Wembley on Sunday.

A police statement read: “A hate crime investigation is underway by the UK Football Policing Unit (UKFPU), with a dedicated team of investigators working their way through a large number of reports from across the country.

“Dozens of data applications have been submitted to social media companies and four people have been arrested by local police forces.”

A stern warning has also been sent out to those who are found to be guilty of sending online abuse.

Chief Constable Mark Roberts, National Police Chiefs’ Council Football Policing Lead, said: “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.

“The racial abuse aimed at our own players following Sunday night’s game is utterly vile and 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.”

 

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said on Wednesday that the government plans to introduce football banning orders for online racism, while social media companies could face massive fines if they fail to remove abuse from their platforms.

Police also said there had been 897 football-related incidents and 264 arrests in the 24 hours around the final.

Sunday’s final was marred by the sickening racist abuse shown to the three England players, as well as the behaviour of some fans at Wembley which included large groups without tickets storming past security cordons to get inside the stadium.

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