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Police Arrest 11 Over Racist Abuse of England Players After Euro Final


FILE PHOTO: Stand Up to Racism Demonstration at the Marcus Rashford mural after it was defaced following the Euro 2020 Final between Italy and England.

British police have arrested 11 people as part of an investigation into the online racist abuse directed at some of the Black players in the England soccer team following their defeat in last month's Euro 2020 final.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were the targets of the abuse after they missed spot-kicks in a penalty shootout with Italy which settled the July 11 final after the game finished as a 1-1 draw.

The incident prompted a police investigation and drew wide condemnation from the England captain, manager, royalty, religious leaders and politicians.

The UK Football Policing Unit said 207 posts on social media were identified as criminal, of which 123 accounts belong to individuals overseas and 34 from the United Kingdom.

"There are people out there who believe they can hide behind a social media profile and get away with posting such abhorrent comments. They need to think again," Chief Constable Mark Roberts, National Police Chiefs' Council Football Policing Lead, said in a statement.

"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."

A Twitter Inc spokesperson said last month they had removed more than 1,000 tweets and permanently suspended a number of accounts, while Facebook Inc said it too had quickly removed abusive comments.

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