Man arrested after Chelsea identify suspect behind racist & hateful tweets

Tom Gott
Chelsea helped identify a man suspected of racism
Chelsea helped identify a man suspected of racism / Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

A 21-year-old man has been arrested in Nottinghamshire after Chelsea identified him as being responsible for a number of racist and hateful messages directed towards Blues players.

Chelsea duo Antonio Rudiger and Reece James have both been targeted by racist abuse online in recent weeks, and club owner Roman Abramovich responded to that by pledging to personally supply more funding in the battle against racism in football.

As noted by Sky Sports News, Chelsea managed to identify a man behind a number of racist and abusive tweets, and after his details were passed to Nottinghamshire Police, a 21-year-old from Retford was arrested. He has since been released while the investigation continues.

"We welcome today's arrest which shows that hateful messages shared on social media do have consequences," the Blues wrote on Twitter. "We continue to work closely with the police to support their investigations on this important issue."

Inspector Matt Ashmead from the Metropolitan Police's Central Football Unit added: "This action proves that the internet is no safe refuge for trolls to target people with hateful, offensive or racist abuse.

"Online abuse is not victimless and we will look to identify those responsible and take action."

The Football Association have called on the government to introduce stricter punishments for those found guilty of racially abusing players online, particularly after an 18-year-old found to have targeted Arsenal legend Ian Wright had his behaviour dismissed as 'naive and immature'.

Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, has proposed new measures which will bring in stricter punishments, but according to the Daily Mail, several Premier League clubs are concerned that the rules won't be strong enough.

The fear is that the Online Harms White Paper does not focus enough on identifying those responsible for abuse, with some clubs urging social media companies to require official identification from anybody who signs up to use an account.

The government's proposal would protect anonymity online, insisting freedom of speech and expression is important, but further discussions with the Premier League are expected to be held to discuss this issue.

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