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UK arrests 11 over racist abuse targeting Black players after Euro final

Police in the United Kingdom have arrested 11 people in connection with the online racial abuse of three Black English football players following the team’s performance in the Euro 2020 final last month.

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka were targeted after they missed spot-kicks in a penalty shootout with Italy which settled the July 11 final after the game finished as a 1-1 draw.

The incident prompted a police investigation after heavy condemnation from several footballers.

The UK Football Policing Unit said 207 posts on social media were identified as criminal, of which 123 accounts belong to individuals overseas and 34 from the United Kingdom.

All but one are men and range in age from 18 to 63 years old, police said.

“There are people out there who believe they can hide behind a social media profile and get away with posting such abhorrent comments. They need to think again,” Chief Constable Mark Roberts, National Police Chiefs’ Council Football Policing Lead, said in a statement.

“We have investigators proactively seeking out abusive comments in connection to the match and, if they meet a criminal threshold, those posting them will be arrested.

“Our investigation is continuing at pace and we are grateful for those who have taken time to report racist posts to us.”

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