More than half of the players who played in the final finals of Euro 2020 and AFCON were abused online before, during and after the match, according to research in a shocking report released by FIFA on Saturday.
Homophobic abuses were the most common, with racism second, and although the governing body of world football did not name names, Sky Sports News learned that the most abused players in the Euro 2020 final were Bucaio Sacca of Arsenal and Marcus Rashford. from Manchester United, who both missed a place when England lost to Italy on penalties at Wembley last July.
In both tournaments, most of the abuse stemmed from the nationals of the players who were targeted – 38% from the UK and 19% from Egypt, after they were also defeated on penalties from Senegal in the AFCON final in February.
As a result, FIFA is creating a special moderation service during this year’s World Cup in Qatar in November and December, which will make abuses less visible online.
Sky Sports News contacted Twitter and Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, for comment.
Summary of the report ‘s findings
- VOLUME: Over 55% of players in both the finals of EURO 2020 and AFCON 2022 received some form of discriminatory abuse
- TYPE: Homophobic insults are the most common form of overt abuse, with racism second
- RACE: Black players who missed penalties (England) were the most abused players in the EURO 2020 final / Deputy (Egypt) was the most abused player in the AFCON 2022 final
- PLATFORMS: Twitter abuse is constant throughout the period, while Instagram abuse is more caused by events – ie. loss of final. Tactically, over 75% of Instagram comments and abuses include emojis
- GEOGRAPHY: Most of the bullies come from the players’ home nation
- CLUB BELONGING: The identity of the players’ club is a cause for abuse. i.e. Liverpool players have been abused on Twitter by fans who support Liverpool’s English Premier League rivals
- Officials / MANAGER: AFCON coaches received twice as many abuses as EURO 2020 managers.
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