More than half the players who played in the most recent Euro 2020 and AFCON finals were abused online before, during and after the game, according to the studies of a shocking report released by FIFA on Saturday.
Homophobic abuse was the most common, with racism second, and though world football’s governing body are not naming names, Sky Sports News understand the most abused players in the Euro 2020 final were Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, who both missed from the spot as England lost to Italy on penalties at Wembley last July.
In both tournaments, most of abuse originated from the home nation of the players being targeted – 38 per cent from the UK and 19% from Egypt after they were also beaten on penalties by Senegal in February’s AFCON final.
As a result, FIFA are setting up a dedicated moderation service during this winter’s World Cup, which takes place in November and December in Qatar, which will make abuse less visible online.
Sky Sports News has contacted Twitter and Meta – the parent company of Facebook & Instagram – for comment.
Summary of report’s findings
- VOLUME: Over 55% of players in both EURO 2020 and AFCON 2022 Final’s received some form of discriminatory abuse
- TYPE: Homophobic slurs most common form of detected abuse, with racism second
- RACE: Black players who missed penalties (England) were the most abused players in the EURO 2020 Final / a substitute (Egypt) was the most abused player at AFCON 2022 Final’s
- PLATFORMS: Abuse on Twitter is constant across the period whilst Instagram abuse is more event driven – i.e. losing final. Tactically, over 75% of Instagram comments and abuse included emojis
- GEOGRAPHY: Majority of abusers come from the players home nation
- CLUB AFFILIATION: Player club identity is a trigger for abuse. i.e. Liverpool players received abuse on Twitter from fans who are supporters of Liverpool’s English Premier League rivals
- OFFICIALS / MANAGERS: AFCON coaches received double the abuse of EURO 2020 managers.
More to follow shortly…
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