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Fifa study finds half of players abused online

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World governing body Fifa has teamed up with players’ union Fifpro to try to identify people who target players with abusive social media posts.

A report tracked 400,000 social media posts during the semi-finals and final of Euro 2020 and this year’s Africa Cup of Nations.

The study found that over 50 percent of players received some kind of abuse.

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

BBC Sport understands that England’s Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka, who both missed their spot-kicks in the shootout defeat by Italy, were the players who suffered the most abuse during the Euro 2020 final.

“Our duty is to protect football, and that starts with the players who bring so much joy and happiness to all of us by their exploits on the field of play,” said Fifa president Gianni Infantino.

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“Unfortunately, there is a trend developing where a percentage of posts on social media channels directed towards players, coaches, match officials and the teams themselves is not acceptable. This form of discrimination, like any form of discrimination, has no place in football.”

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

Homophobic (40 percent) and racist (38 percent) comments made up the majority of the abuse, according to the report, with most of it remaining online.

The report also states that 90 percent of accounts flagged as having published abusive comments have a “high probability” of identification.

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