According to FIFA’s investigation of racial abuse on social media during Euro 2020 and this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, over half of the players who advanced to the competition’s semi-finals were targeted.
England’s problem with social media abuse was emphasized during the Euro 2020 final loss to Italy, in which Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford, and Bukayo Saka were mercilessly harassed online after missing penalties.
According to the Daily Mail, Rashford and Saka were the two most frequent targets of abuse, with most of it coming from English accounts.
76% of the abuse directed at black players during Euro 2020 was based on their skin colour, with Twitter containing more consistent racism and Instagram containing more event-driven occurrences.
During the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final, the United Kingdom was responsible for more than 38% of the abuse directed at Saka, Rashford, and Sancho.
“Our mission is to preserve football, and that begins with the players who provide so much joy and happiness to all of us via their achievements on the field of play,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino stated.
“Unfortunately, a trend is emerging in which a percentage of posts on social media platforms are aimed against players, coaches, match officials, and the teams themselves, and this sort of discrimination – like any form of discrimination – has no place in football.”
“With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and the FIFA World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 on the horizon, FIFA and FIFPRO recognize the need to take a position and incorporate what is monitored on social media with what is currently monitored in stadiums.” We want our actions to speak louder than our words. Therefore, we are taking actual steps to address the issue immediately.”