Manchester, Merseyside clubs unite to condemn racism in social media


FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Premier League - Manchester United v Sheffield United - Old Trafford, Manchester, Britain - January 27, 2021 Manchester United's Marcus Rashford Pool via REUTERS/Tim Keeton

(Reuters) - Manchester United, Manchester City, Liverpool and Everton have joined forces to condemn the racial abuse suffered by players, officials and supporters on social media.

United's Marcus Rashford, Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial, Chelsea's Reece James, West Bromwich Albion's Romaine Sawyers and Southampton's Alex Jankewitz are among those to have received racist abuse online in recent weeks.

With United set to host Everton on Saturday and City travelling to Liverpool on Sunday, the four clubs came together with the mayors of Greater Manchester and the Liverpool City Region in a show of solidarity.

"Today Manchester United, Everton, Manchester City and Liverpool have come together to support Hate Crime Awareness Week in Greater Manchester," the clubs said in a joint statement.

"We condemn the racist abuse that too many players, officials and supporters continue to encounter, most recently on social media platforms," the said.

Top English players including Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and former international Karen Carney discussed online abuse and discrimination with government ministers last month.

The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) has said that those who send abusive messages should be held accountable by authorities and have their social media accounts banned.

"We stand shoulder to shoulder in saying there is no room for racism, hate or any form of discrimination in our beautiful game. It should not happen and it must stop," the clubs and mayors said in their statement.

(Reporting by Arvind Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Hugh Lawson)

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