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Protestors demonstrate by a mural of England forward Marcus Rashford after it was defaced in Manchester, England. Photo: Lindsey Parnaby/AFP via Getty Images

Four people have been arrested in connection with online racist abuse of England soccer players after Sunday's European Championship final, Reuters reports.

Driving the news: A specialist team is looking into the offensive comments made against three Black players — Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka — on social media sites, according to U.K. police.

  • A hate crime investigation led by the U.K. Football Policing Unit is also underway, per Reuters.
  • All three soccer players missed their penalty shots during Sunday's shootout, which Italy won 3-2 after the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

What they're saying: "We are working very closely with social media platforms, who are providing data we need to progress enquiries," chief constable Mark Roberts, the officer responsible for leading Britain's policing response on soccer issues, said, per Reuters.

  • "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 big picture: The government condemned the racist comments and vowed to take action against social media companies if they do not swiftly remove offensive material online.

  • There had been 897 soccer-related incidents and 264 arrests in the 24 hours around the final, a big increase on previous soccer tournaments in 2016 and 2018, per Reuters.

Go deeper

Oct 5, 2021 - Sports

Washington Spirit CEO resigns amid NWSL turmoil

A red soccer corner flag with the Washington Spirit shield logo during an NWSL game between Orlando Pride and Washington Spirit on August 22, 2021 at Audi Field in Washington, DC. Photo: Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The CEO of NWSL's Washington Spirit resigned on Tuesday following abuse allegations against the team's former coach and criticism of a toxic work environment.

Why it matters: The resignation of Steve Baldwin, who served as controlling owner and top executive of the Washington women's soccer team, comes as NWSL players speak out about cases of harassment and abuse and demand change across the league.

Oct 5, 2021 - Axios Twin Cities

What the MLS All-Star Game could mean for Minnesota

Allianz Field could host the MLS All-Star Game next summer. Photo: Jean Pieri / MediaNews Group / St. Paul Pioneer Press via Getty Images

The Major League Soccer commissioner is in town Tuesday for a major announcement, and many expect he'll name Allianz Field in St. Paul as the location of the annual MLS All-Star Game next summer.

Why it matters: The festivities would be a shot in the arm for metro hotels and restaurants that depend on tourism, but have seen few visitors in the past 19 months.

  • It could also help grow the soccer fan base here in the Twin Cities. In July, outgoing MNUFC CEO Chris Wright applauded events like the All-Star Game as "opportunities to grow the club."
Kate Marino, author of Markets
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Omicron outbreaks were bad for business in January

Data: New York Federal Reserve Bank; Chart: Axios Visuals

Emerging anecdotal evidence shows just how hard the recent rise in COVID-19 cases hit businesses in early January — but that hasn't hurt some business leaders’ longer-term views on their companies' prospects.

Why it matters: Increasingly, the economic recovery has come in fits and starts that move in tandem with new peaks in cases. Look no further than the thousands of cancelled flights and shuttered Broadway theaters in the wake of the Omicron variant's spread over the last few months.

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