June 18, (THEWILL) – According to the findings of a new study, almost 55% of players who competed in the Euro 2020 and the TotalEnergies 2021 Africa Cup of Nations this year were abused online.
The independent research, presented by FIFA five months before the start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, highlighted homophobic and racial remarks as the two most serious issues in the over 400,000 social media messages from Twitter and Instagram they analysed.
The research yielded 541 instances of direct discrimination or other types of harassment and the majority of hate comments came from the home nations, with the United Kingdom accounting for 38% of all hate remarks.
According to the survey, 40% of abusive communications featured homophobic material, while 38% were racist. A further 3% were classified as posing a threat, while 58 percent of racist statements were still visible online in April 2022, along with 87 percent of non-racist abuse.
After the Euro 2020 final penalty shoot-out against Italy, England players Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho, and Marcus Rashford experienced racist abuse online and the report captured this and it was discovered that racist words were used in 78% of the abuse directed towards participants in that game.
England manager Gareth Southgate and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson both condemned the abuse and promised to take action against racist trolls.
The tone of the abuse during the AFCON final between Senegal and Egypt was deemed to be 26% racist and 62% homophobic. But, FIFA announced that it would work with FIFPRO, the global players’ organisation, to launch a moderation service to monitor hate speech during upcoming tournaments, with the hopes of preventing the messages from reaching their intended audiences.