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Probe into Portsmouth FC academy players’ ‘racial abuse’ of England stars

Portsmouth FC launches investigation after academy players allegedly racially abused England stars in group chat leaked on social media

Portsmouth FC has launched an investigation after a number of its academy players allegedly abused England stars in a group chat leaked on social media.

The screenshot, widely being shared online today, shows ‘discriminatory’ comments apparently made by youth players at the League One club.  

The messages, which appear to have been sent in a Snapchat conversation, joke about lynching and bombing the three black players who missed their penalties in Sunday’s Euro 2020 final with Italy.

Portsmouth FC has launched an investigation after a number of its academy players allegedly abused England stars in a group chat leaked on social media

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, pictured with teammate Raheem Sterling, received abuse after missing penalties in England's Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy

Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, pictured with teammate Raheem Sterling, received abuse after missing penalties in England’s Euro 2020 final defeat to Italy

Furthermore, there is a suggestion that people should send Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka death threats, alongside a monkey emoji. The N-word is also used.

It is not clear if the messages do originate from an academy group chat, and the Hampshire based club is now investigating.

In a statement posted on its website, Portsmouth FC said: ‘[We] are aware of images circulating on social media that allegedly originate from an academy u18 group chat and which are discriminatory in nature.

‘The club have launched an immediate investigation and will provide an update once this has been completed.

‘Portsmouth Football Club strongly condemn racism and are totally committed to the elimination of all forms of discrimination. There is no place for it in our game or society as a whole.’

Saka, Rashford and Sancho were subjected to widespread racist abuse on public social media platforms following Sunday’s defeat.

The Football Association condemned the abuse and said it would do all it could to support the players affected.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson told those who had abused England players to ‘crawl back under the rock from which you emerged’, and discussed the matter with social media companies on Tuesday.

Hampshire Constabulary has been approached for comment.

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