English football to boycott social media over racist abuse

English football’s largest governing bodies and organisations, including the Football Association (FA), Premier League and English Football League (EFL), have announced a social media boycott between April 30 and May 3 following recent incidents of online abuse aimed at football players.

The social media boycott from 3 p.m. (1400 GMT) on April 30 to 11:59 p.m. (22:59 GMT) on May 3 comes in response to “the ongoing and sustained discriminatory abuse received online by players and many others connected to football,” said the Premier League in a statement, DPA reports.

“As a collective, the game recognises the considerable reach and value of social media to our sport. The connectivity and access to supporters who are at the heart of football remain vital,” the statement added.

The boycott is scheduled to take place “across a full-fixture programme in the men’s and women’s professional game and will feature clubs across the Premier League, EFL, Women’s Super League (WSL) and Women’s Championship switching off their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts,” said the Premier League.

Premier League Chief Executive, Richard Masters, said, “Racist behaviour of any form is unacceptable and the appalling abuse we are seeing players receive on social media platforms cannot be allowed to continue.”

Players from English clubs, including Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford and Liverpool’s Sadio Mane, had recently experienced racist attacks on social media. England international Jude Bellingham from Borussia Dortmund was also affected.

The Welsh second division club, Swansea City, and the Scottish soccer champions, Glasgow Rangers, already responded with a boycott a few weeks ago.

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