11 arrested over online racist abuse of England soccer players
11 people have been arrested in connection with online racial abuse towards England soccer players after their loss in the final of the European Championship last month, AP reports.
Driving the news: The U.K. Football Policing Unit requested data from social media companies to investigate the online abuse and passed on information to police, which made the arrests, per AP.
- "There are people out there who believe they can hide behind a social media profile and get away with posting such abhorrent comments," Cheshire Chief Constable Mark Roberts, who leads soccer policing for the National Police Chiefs’ Council, said. "They need to think again."
- Of the 207 criminal social media posts identified, 123 accounts belong to individuals outside the U.K. The police unit is waiting for information on the remaining 50 account holders, per AP.
Background: A barrage of hateful, racist comments surfaced online following England's loss to Italy in the European Championship final.
- The offensive comments were made against three Black players — Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka — on social media sites.
- All three missed their penalty kicks during the game's shootout, which Italy won.