British police arrest four for racist abuse of English footballers – .

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British police arrest four for racist abuse of English footballers – .


LONDON – Four people have been arrested for racist online abuse targeting members of England’s football team after Sunday’s European Championship final, British police said on Thursday.

A team of experts are examining the offensive comments, police said, after three black players – Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka – were the targets of racist abuse on social media sites Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The three missed shots on goal in the penalty shootout loss to Italy at Wembley Stadium in London.

The abuse has been widely condemned, and the government has promised action against social media companies if they don’t remove offensive content faster.

“We work closely with social media platforms, which provide the data we need to move investigations forward,” said Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the officer responsible for leading the UK police response to football problems.

“If we identify that you are behind this crime, we will hunt you down and you will face the grave consequences of your shameful actions. “

A hate crime investigation by the UK Football Police Unit is underway.

Police said dozens of data requests have been made to tech companies and four people have been arrested so far.

The English players had shed light on the issue of racism by kneeling before their matches, a protest that some supporters booed.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has vowed to tackle online abuse, but he and other ministers have been accused of hypocrisy for failing to condemn those who booed players at the start of the tournament.

Police also said there were 897 football-related incidents and 264 arrests in the 24 hours around the final, a big increase from previous football tournaments in 2016 and 2018.

At Wembley, fans were unruly and large groups without tickets stormed the security lines.

(Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Timothy Heritage)

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