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Four arrests in hate crime probe into online racist abuse of England players
15 July 2021, 10:36 | Updated: 15 July 2021, 10:39
Police investigating the online racist abuse of several black England players after the Euro 2020 final have made four arrests.
The National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) said the arrests had been made as part of a hate crime investigation led by the UK Football Policing Unit.
The arrests come after Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka missed penalties in the Euro 2020 final, giving Italy the win.
The NPCC said they were working to identify individuals involved in a "significant number" of reports of racist abuse targeting members of the England squad.
The NPCC said dozens of applications had been submitted to social media companies and four people have been arrested by local police forces.
Chief Constable Mark Roberts, National Police Chiefs' Council Football Policing Lead, said: "The racial abuse aimed at our own players following Sunday night's game is utterly vile and has quite rightly shocked and appalled people across the country.
"Our England team have been true role models during the tournament, conducting themselves with professionalism and dignity.
"I'm disgusted there are individuals out there who think it's acceptable to direct such abhorrent abuse at them, or at anybody else.
"The UKFPU investigation is well underway and work continues to identify those responsible. We are working very closely with social media platforms, who are providing data we need to progress enquiries.
"If we identify that you are behind this crime, we will track you down and you will face the serious consequences of your shameful actions.
Reports are being sent in to local forces and by charities, football clubs and other partner organisations.
Social media firms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter are also helping the investigations.
The NPCC said the investigation follows a night of widespread crime and disorder after Sunday's match.
As of 13 July, 897 football-related incidents and 264 arrests had been recorded across the country in the 24-hour period surrounding the final.
People can report incidents to their local force by calling 101 or visiting their online reporting portal.
You can also report to True Vision at www.report-it.org.uk.
Discrimination in football can be reported via Kick it Out at https://www.kickitout.org