British police announced, Thursday, July 5, that 11 people had been arrested for allegedly directing racist insults on social media against black players from the English national team, after the defeat on July 11 in the European Cup final.
The police investigation identified 207 criminally objectionable messages, 123 of which came from accounts outside the UK.
So far, 34 accounts have been identified in the UK according to a police statement.
“Some thought they could hide behind a social media profile, with impunity after posting such hateful content,” said Mark Roberts, one of the officers in charge of the investigation.
“They have to think twice, we have investigators working proactively, looking for offensive content related to the game, and if the penal code is violated, the perpetrators will be arrested,” he warned.
After England lost to Italy in the European Nations Cup final, players such as Jadon Sancho, Bucayo Saka and Marcus Rashford were subjected to a wave of racist attacks at the net and these offenses were unanimously condemned by both the government and sporting institutions.
The three players, who entered the field at the end of the match at Wembley Stadium, lost their free kicks in the penalty shootout that cost England their defeat to Italy (1-1 in 120 minutes, 3-2 on penalties) and ended in penalties. The dream of a country that has not lifted any major title since the 1966 World Cup.
Insults, combined with incidents of ticketless fans who managed to enter the stadium, have awakened the old demons of English football.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced his desire to ban perpetrators of online racist attacks from stadiums.
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