England star Jude Bellingham has been subjected to vile racist abuse on social media.
The former Birmingham City youngster was targeted by trolls in the wake of Borussia Dortmund’s shock 2-2 draw with Cologne on Saturday.
Bellingham shared screenshots of the abuse on his Instagram account after the match, which included insults such as “f*** your mother, is your mother dead?” as well as monkey emojis.
The 17-year-old wrote: “Just another day on social media.”
It comes in the week that Bellingham is due to join up with the Three Lions’ squad for the World Cup qualifiers against San Marino, Albania and Poland.
England posted their own message of support from their official Twitter account, writing: “We continue to be disgusted by the discriminatory abuse our players – and others across the game – are being subjected to online.
“Something needs to change. We stand with you, @BellinghamJude.”
Dortmund had already issued their own statement on Twitter, which read: “We stand with you @BellinghamJude. Racism belongs nowhere #BorussiaVerdindet’.”
England stars Marcus Rashford and Reece James have been subjected to similar treatment on social media platforms recently in a growing and concerning trend.
While Bellingham has been named in Southgate’s 26-man squad, he may still be blocked from joining up with the national team due to coronavirus restrictions in Germany.
“We don’t know [what part Bellingham could play next week]. We’ve left him in the squad. At this moment in time it looks as though we won’t be able to take him,” Southgate said earlier this week.
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“The quarantine rules in Germany look like they’ll rule him out. But, as we’re seeing, those rules can change so quickly and while we’re still investigating what’s possible we wanted to name him in the squad.”
But since then Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski has been given permission to represent Poland against England without having to self-isolate on his return, giving Southgate a greater chance of securing Bellingham’s services.
He added: “We’ve got a really good relationship with Dortmund so no issues between us and the club.”