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FIFA racism study names Marcus Rashford & Bukayo Saka as biggest targets of social media abuse

Tom Gott
England's Euro 2020 campaign was marred by racism
England's Euro 2020 campaign was marred by racism / Laurence Griffiths/GettyImages

FIFA's study into racist abuse on social media during Euro 2020 and this year's Africa Cup of Nations has revealed nearly half of the players who made it to each competition's semi-final were targeted.

England's problem with social media abuse was highlighted after the defeat to Italy in the Euro 2020 final, in which Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka were viciously attacked online after missing penalties.

According to the Daily Mail, Rashford and Saka were the two biggest targets of the abuse, most of which came from English accounts.

In Euro 2020, 76% of the abuse targeted black players over their skin colour, with Twitter containing more constant racism and Instagram featuring more event-driven incidents.

Over 38% of the abuse over Euro 2020's semi-finals and final came from the United Kingdom, with Saka, Rashford and Sancho the main targets.

"Our duty is to protect football, and that starts with the players who bring so much joy and happiness to all of us by their exploits on the field of play," said FIFA president Gianni Infantino.

"Unfortunately, there is a trend developing where a percentage of posts on social media channels directed towards players, coaches, match officials and the teams themselves is not acceptable, and this form of discrimination – like any form of discrimination – has no place in football.

"With the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 and FIFA World Cup Australia and New Zealand 2023 on the horizon, FIFA and FIFPRO recognise it is important to make a stand and to include what is monitored on social media with what is already being monitored in the stadiums. We want our actions to speak louder than our words and that is why we are taking concrete measures to tackle the problem directly."