Raheem Sterling and Kyle Walker were subjected to racist abuse in the wake of Manchester City’s Champions League final defeat to Chelsea.
Monkey emojis were posted on the Instagram profiles of both players following City’s 1-0 defeat to Thomas Tuchel’s side in Porto.
The appalling abuse directed at the City duo comes after their England team-mate, Marcus Rashford, said he had received “at least 70 racial slurs” on his Twitter account following Manchester United’s Europa League final defeat to Villarreal.
Sterling was also racially abused earlier this month, just 48 hours after the football and sporting world took part in a weekend-long social media boycott in protest at the rise in online discrimination.
After the abuse directed at Sterling and Walker, a spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said: “The racist abuse sent to these players last night is abhorrent and we don’t want it on Instagram.
“We swiftly removed a number of comments and accounts for breaking our rules and we’re continuing to review and take action against those that violate our policies.
“We have built safety features, including Comment Filters and Message Controls, which can meaningfully decrease the abuse people experience.
“No single thing will fix this challenge overnight but we’re committed to doing what we can to keep our community safe from abuse.”
Meanwhile, Sergio Aguero’s brother accused City boss Pep Guardiola of never having wanted to work with the striker at the Etihad Stadium.
Aguero’s glittering 10-year City career has come to an end, with the club’s record goalscorer set to join Spainsh giants Barcelona as a free agent.
His brother, Mauricio del Castillo, claimed Guardiola “never wanted” Aguero, in a tweet he later deleted, writing: “Guardiola never wanted my brother since his arrival at City.”
When asked why he had deleted the tweet, he said: “Many toxic people, too many.”
He then added: “Perfect, I’m glad people have seen it and I’ll write it again if I want.”
Reflecting on City’s painful defeat, midfielder Ilkay Gundogan tweeted: “It damn sucks to post after a big final defeat.
“We’ve been so close, it hurts so much – today even more than yesterday to be honest.”