Liverpool angry after Alexander-Arnold, Keïta and Mané racially abused online

Liverpool angry after Alexander-Arnold, Keïta and Mané racially abused online

Liverpool have called for “the strongest possible preventative measures” to be taken over racist abuse on social media after Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keïta and Sadio Mané were targeted. The players were sent racist emojis and comments via Instagram after Tuesday’s Champions League quarter-final first-leg loss to Real Madrid.

“Once again we are sadly discussing abhorrent racial abuse the morning after a football game,” the club said. “It is utterly unacceptable and it has to stop. LFC condemns all forms of discrimination and we continue to work with our inclusion partners through our Red Together initiative to campaign against it.”

The statement continued: “As a club, we will offer our players any and all support that they may require. We will also work with the relevant authorities to identify and, if possible, prosecute those responsible.

“We know that this will not be enough until the strongest possible preventative measures are taken by social media platforms and the regulatory bodies which govern them. The current situation cannot be allowed to continue and it is incumbent on all of us to ensure that it does not.”

On Tuesday night Brentford described as “spineless” the latest racist abuse directed at Ivan Toney. In January the Championship club reported a social media user after he sent racist language to the striker. Instagram eventually banned the user from its platform.

After Toney started Brentford’s 0-0 draw with Birmingham on Tuesday, he was sent a direct message which included numerous monkey and banana emojis and described Brentford as a “gay idiot team”. Toney put a screenshot of the messages on his Instagram story with the caption: “Honestly I’m done” and the abuse was condemned by his club.

“We are appalled to see yet more spineless, racist abuse directed at Ivan Toney on Instagram this evening,” a statement from Brentford read. “This has to stop. Now. We stand with Ivan, and all those who continue to suffer abuse online.”

A spokesperson for Facebook, which owns Instagram, said: “The abuse directed towards these footballers is abhorrent. We do not want it on Instagram and we swiftly removed a number of comments and accounts that broke our rules. We recently announced tougher measures to tackle this behaviour and we are committed to doing everything we can to fight hate and racism on our platforms.”