A FIFA survey of Euros & Afcon found that half of all players were abused online; Saka and Rashford are the most focused

Bucaio Sacca and Marcus Rashford
Bucaio Sacca (left) and Marcus Rashford (right) were racially abused on social media after missing penalties in the Euro 2020 final

The world governing body Fifa has teamed up with the players’ union Fifpro to try to identify people who are targeting players with offensive posts on social media.

The report tracks 400,000 posts on social media during the semifinals and finals of Euro 2020 and this year’s African Cup of Nations.

The survey found that more than 50% of players were abused.

The report found that black players who missed penalties were the most abused players in the Euro 2020 final.

BBC Sport understands that the Englishmen Marcus Rashford and Bucaio Sacca, who both missed their shots on the spot in the defeat in penalties from Italy, are the players who suffered the most abuse during the final of Euro 2020.

“It is our duty to defend football and it starts with the players who bring so much joy and happiness to all of us with their feats on the playing field,” said FIFA President Gianni Infantino.

“Unfortunately, a trend is developing in which the percentage of posts on social media channels aimed at players, coaches, match officials and the teams themselves are unacceptable. This form of discrimination, like any form of discrimination, has no place in football. “

The report found that most of the abuses during the two periods in question came from the players’ home countries.

According to the report, homophobic (40%) and racist (38%) comments make up the majority of abuse, with most remaining online.

The report also states that 90% of accounts marked as offensive comments have a “high probability” of identification.

In response, Fifa and Fifpro should launch a special “tournament moderation service” that will scan recognized hate terms published in identified social media accounts.

Once discovered, the goal is to prevent the comment from being seen by the recipient and their followers.

“Online abuse is a social problem and as an industry we cannot accept that this new form of abuse and discrimination affects so many people, including our players,” said Fifpro President David Aganzo.

“This cooperation recognizes the responsibility of football to protect players and other affected groups against the abuses they face more and more often in and around their workplace.

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