Man, 42, is arrested on suspicion of being behind vile racist social media post about England stars 

Man, 42, is arrested on suspicion of being behind vile racist social media post about black England stars

  • Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka abused after Euro 2020 final
  • Cheshire Police arrested man from Runcorn in connection with an online post
  • He is the fifth person to be arrested nationwide in aftermath of Sunday’s defeat 

A 42-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of making a vile racist social media post about black England players in the wake of the team’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

Stars including Bukayo Saka, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho have been subjected to horrendous online racial abuse since the Three Lions lost to Italy on penalties on Sunday.

Cheshire Constabulary have today confirmed a man from Runcorn, Cheshire, was arrested in connection with a post made following the match.

He’s suspected of displaying threatening, abusive or insulting written material that is likely to stir up racial hatred under section 18 of the public order act 1986.

The man, who has not been named, has been released under investigation pending further enquires.

Bukayo Saka, pictured being consoled by England boss Gareth Southgate, has suffered a torrent of abuse since the Three Lions’ heartbreaking defeat to Italy on Sunday

Mark Roberts, Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary and the NPCC Lead for football policing, said: ‘Hate crime in any form is simply not acceptable.

‘The racial abuse aimed at our own players following Sunday night’s game was totally abhorrent and has quite rightly shocked and appalled people across the country.

‘Those in the England team have been true role models throughout the tournament, conducting themselves with professionalism and dignity.

‘I’m disgusted that there are a number of individuals out there who think it’s acceptable to direct such abuse at them, or at anybody else, and we are working very closely with social media platforms to trace those responsible for these utterly vile messages.

‘I want to make it clear to anyone thinking of doing anything similar that you cannot simply hide behind a computer screen, using pseudo names to conceal your identity – rest assured that we will track you down and you will face the consequences of your reprehensible actions.’

It comes after four other men have been arrested in recent days on suspicion of similar offences, with police revealing dozens of people in total are being investigated. 

Three of the suspects have already been publicly identified – plasterer Brad Pretty, 49, from Folkestone, Kent; estate agent Andrew Bone, 37, from Sale, Cheshire; and children’s football coach Nick Scott, 50, from Powick, Worcestershire.

A fourth suspect, a 37-year-old man from Ashton-upon-Mersey in Greater Manchester, was then arrested yesterday, officials said.

Marcus Rashford also missed a crucial penalty in the subject and he too has been on the end of vile racist abuse

Marcus Rashford also missed a crucial penalty in the subject and he too has been on the end of vile racist abuse

Twitter said it had removed more than 1,000 posts in the 24 hours during and after the match, and suspended a number of accounts for violating its rules. Facebook said it too had quickly removed abusive comments on its platform and Instagram.

Data from analytics company Crisp, which works with top-flight football clubs, found England players faced 12,500 hate messages on social media during Euro 2020. 

The abuse from 10,000 accounts was aimed directly at players, through Twitter and Instagram, and includes comments about race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, as well as extreme personal abuse and threats of harm, including to family members.

The number of abusive accounts equates to 3 per cent of all users posting to the players’ accounts during the tournament.