In Euro 2020 final racist abuse case, British police make 11 arrests
- England lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy in the penalty shootout
- UK Football Policing Unit launched a hate crime investigation after the Euro 2020 final
- The racist abuse prompted widespread condemnations by the English Football Association
Police in Britain have arrested 11 people across the United Kingdom in connection with the racist abuses hurled at the England football players on social media after their Euro 2020 final loss against Italy.
England lost to Italy in the penalty shootout and three players - Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka - were at the receiving end of racist abuses.
The UK Football Policing Unit (UKFPU) launched a hate crime investigation after the Euro 2020 final on July 11. The unit said that it received more than 600 reports from individuals, charities, clubs and other organizations. According to the UKFPU, 207 of these were criminal in nature, CNN reported.
Out of the 207, 123 accounts belonged to the people who resided outside of the United Kingdom. British police said that the details of these are being processed and the information will be sent to the relevant countries so that they can take required action against the individuals.
So far 34 accounts were found to have been in the UK, and 11 of these account holders have now been arrested.
"There are people out there who believe they can hide behind a social media profile and get away with posting such abhorrent comments," CNN quoted National Police Chiefs' Council Football Policing lead, Chief Constable Mark Roberts, as saying.
"They need to think again," he added.
He further added that there was a lot of work put in to apprehend the people who committed the crime.
"The complexities of investigating social media abuse cannot be underestimated," added Roberts.
The FA said in a statement it hoped that "these arrests act as a clear deterrent for perpetrators of online abuse who believe there will be no real-world consequences for their actions."
In their statement, the FA also urged social media companies to take stronger action to "eradicate" online abuse.