Man who appeared to post racist abuse at England players claims account was 'hacked'

13 July 2021, 11:53

A Savills employee says his Twitter account was hacked to post racist abuse at England players after their Euro 2020 penalty shootout defeat.
A Savills employee says his Twitter account was hacked to post racist abuse at England players after their Euro 2020 penalty shootout defeat. Picture: PA

By Joe Cook

Estate agent Savills says it has suspended an employee over alleged racist posts after England's penalty shootout defeat, but that the individual claims his account was hacked.

Following England's defeat on penalties to Italy in the Euro 2020 final on Sunday, a tweet from an account attributed to the Savills employee said: "N****** ruined it for us."

Thousands of people shared the employee's details and the now-deleted comment, which came amid an onslaught of abuse faced by black England players.

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However, Savills said in a statement that "the staff member connected with the racist comments place on Twitter claims that this account was taken over by a third party".

The matter has been "referred to the Greater Manchester Police", they continued.

"Savills has acted swiftly and confirms that the individual is suspended from duty pending the findings of this investigation, which is being progressed as a priority.

"Savills has a policy of zero tolerance on any form of racial abuse or discrimination."

Greater Manchester Police confirmed to LBC that they received a complaint regarding the tweet on Monday.

Fellow footballers, politicians and public figures have come out in support of members of the national team - namely Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka - after they suffered racial abuse on social media following their Euro 2020 final defeat.

Within an hour of England's loss, a piece of artwork dedicated to Rashford in Withington, south Manchester - near to where he lived with his family before moving to Wythenshawe - was also vandalised with racist graffiti.

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On Monday, FA President Prince William posted on Twitter: "I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match. It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour.

"It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable."

Meanwhile, England manager Gareth Southgate described the abuse directed at the players as "unforgivable".

He said: "It's just not what we stand for.

"We have been a beacon of light in bringing people together in people being able to relate to the national team, and the national team stands for everybody and so that togetherness has to continue.

"We have shown the power our country has when it does come together and has that energy and positivity together.

"It's my decision who takes the penalties, it's not a case of players not volunteering or more experienced players backing out."

"I know in time we will have an appreciation of that and I know the messages we are getting underline that," he said.