Soccer-Hasenhuettl seeks action against online abuse after Tella targeted

Soccer Football - Premier League - Liverpool v Southampton - Anfield, Liverpool, Britain - May 8, 2021 Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl reacts Pool via REUTERS/Paul Ellis

(Reuters) - Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuettl on Monday called for action against online racial abuse after midfielder Nathan Tella was targeted following their 2-0 Premier League defeat at Liverpool on Saturday.

The 21-year-old Tella, who suffered similar abuse earlier in the season following Southampton's 3-0 loss to Leeds United, shared screenshots of the messages he received on Instagram.

English football boycotted social media earlier this month in protest against the online abuse of players.

"We need changes," Hasenhuttl told a news conference on the eve of their league game against Crystal Palace. "Everybody is very clear about that, so let's do it. What are we waiting for? We had the discussion... about what we can do as clubs.

"Younger or older or whatever position he (Tella) is in, it is never acceptable, and this is what has to be changed."

England's Football Association has called on the British government to introduce legislation to compel social media companies to do more to eradicate online abuse.

Southampton striker Danny Ings faces a late fitness test ahead of the Palace match as he recovers from a hamstring issue while midfielder Oriol Romeu and left back Ryan Bertrand will not be available due to injury.

The Saints will be boosted by the return of on-loan forward Takumi Minamino who was ineligible to play against his parent club Liverpool.

(Reporting by Hritika Sharma in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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