By Wisdom Deji-Folutile
Four persons have so far been arrested in connection with online abuse directed at England players, the UK Football Policing Unit said on Thursday.
The UKFPU has continued to investigate reports of racist abuse targeted at some black England players following the country’s loss in the European Championship final last Sunday.
The policing unit issued a statement on Thursday announcing the arrest of the four persons.
The statement also said that investigations were still underway as dozens of data applications had been submitted to social media companies requesting the identity of account users.
A statement issued on Thursday read, “Following England’s defeat against Italy on Sunday a torrent of racist comments aimed at some of the team’s black players appeared on platforms including Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
“A hate crime investigation is underway by the UKFPU, with a dedicated team of investigators working their way through a large number of reports from across the country.
“So far, dozens of data applications have been submitted to social media companies and four people have been arrested by local police forces.”
Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs’ Council football policing lead, called the racist outrage in the aftermath of the Euros “utterly vile”.
“It has quite rightly shocked and appalled people across the country,” he said.
Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, said on Wednesday that the government was extending the scope of football banning orders to include online abuse.
Banning orders exclude people from attending matches for between a three and 10-year period.