Portsmouth launches investigation into alleged racial abuse on England stars by academy players

Social media was abuzz on Wednesday with reports of allegedly racist messages being circulated.

A number of Portsmouth FC academy players are under investigation by the club for allegedly abusing England stars in a group chat leaked on social media.

A screenshot of discriminatory comments was widely shared online today. These comments seem to have been made by youth players at the League One club. The messages appear to have been sent during a Snapchat conversation, in which jokes are made about lynching and bombing the three black players who missed their penalties against Italy on Sunday night’s Euro 2020 final.

Furthermore, there is a suggestion that Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, and Bukayo Saka receive death threats with a monkey icon accompanying these messages. It is unclear if the messages originated from an academy group chat, and the Hampshire club is now investigating this incident.

In a statement posted on its website, Portsmouth FC said: “We are aware of images circulating on social media that allegedly originate from an academy u18 group chat and which are discriminatory in nature. The club have launched an immediate investigation and will provide an update once this has been completed.”

The statement further reads, “Portsmouth Football Club strongly condemns racism and are totally committed to the elimination of all forms of discrimination. There is no place for it in our game or society as a whole.”

In the aftermath of Sunday’s defeat, Saka, Rashford, and Sancho were subjected to widespread racist abuse on public social media platforms. In response to the abuse, the Football Association condemned the abuse and has said that it will do everything in its power to support the players. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke on Tuesday about the abuse of English players with social media companies. He told those responsible for the abuse to ‘crawl back under the rock from which you emerged’.

A petition to permanently ban racists from football matches resulted in a million signings in just two days, continuing the support for the England players across the country.

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