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PFA to gather evidence of online racial abuse

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PFA to gather evidence of online racial abuse
FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Manchester City - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - April 24, 2019 Manchester City's Raheem Sterling reacts REUTERS/Phil Noble   -   Copyright  PHIL NOBLE(Reuters)
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LONDON (Reuters) – England’s Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) has called on players to submit evidence of online racial abuse they have suffered so they can highlight the problem to governing bodies.

The PFA said it would also present the evidence to the Football Association and the government and had arranged meetings with social media platforms Twitter and Facebook.

It follows a spate of high-profile incidents this season that led to some players boycotting social media for 24 hours under the PFA’s #enough campaign.

“We are preparing to take our anti-racism message to government and social networks and have asked members to submit any evidence of racist abuse received online to an email address set up specifically for this purpose,” a PFA statement said.

“We will spend the next few weeks collating the player’s abuse as evidence of the scale and impact of the problem. This will be used to demonstrate the severity of the issue to the Sports Minister, as well as Facebook/Instagram and Twitter.”

While England’s black players suffered abuse in a recent Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro, there have been incidents much closer to home, both during games and on social media.

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling suffered alleged racist abuse this season during his side’s defeat at Chelsea while a banana skin was thrown towards Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during the north London derby.

Watford teammates Troy Deeney, Adrian Mariappa and Christian Kabasele receive racist abuse on social media while Manchester United’s Young was also abused online following Manchester United’s Champions League defeat in Barcelona.

(Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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