FIFA study shows that Euro and AFCON players are abused heavily on social media with Saka and Rashford being the most attacked
FIFA, the world football regulatory body, has linked up with Fifpro, the players’ union, in an attempt to track down those who abuse players on social media.
400,000 social media messages were tracked throughout the Euro 2020 semi-finals and final, as well as this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, according to a study.
According to the report, more than half of the players were subjected to some form of abuse.
The most insulted players in the Euro 2020 final were black players who missed penalties, according to the research.
“Our duty is to protect football, and that starts with the players who bring so much joy and happiness to all of us by their exploits on the field of play,” said Fifa president Gianni Infantino.
“Unfortunately, there is a trend developing where a percentage of posts on social media channels directed towards players, coaches, match officials, and the teams themselves is not acceptable. This form of discrimination, like any form of discrimination, has no place in football.”
The majority of the abuse over the two periods in issue, according to the research, came from the players’ home nations.
According to the report, homophobic (40 percent ) and racial (38 percent ) insults made up the majority of the harassment, with the majority of it continuing online.
According to the research, 90 percent of accounts marked as having made abusive remarks had a “high possibility” of being identified.
As a response, FIFA and Fifpro have decided to develop a specialized “in-tournament moderation service.” This service will scan recognized hate speech keywords broadcast to certain social media accounts.
Once the remark has been identified, the next step is to prevent the recipient and any of the receiver’s followers from seeing it.
“Online abuse is a societal issue and as an industry, we cannot accept that this new form of abuse and discrimination affects so many people including our players,” said Fifpro president David Aganzo.
“This collaboration recognises football’s responsibility to protect the players and other affected groups against the abuse they increasingly face in and around their workplace.”
A Synopsis of the Findings
- Over 55% of players in both the Euro 2020 and AFCON 2022 finals were subjected to some type of discrimination.
- Racism is the most prevalent kind of observed abuse, followed by homophobic insults.
- The most insulted players in the Euro 2020 Final were black players who missed penalties (England) and a substitute (Egypt) in the AFCON 2022 finals.
- The majority of the vitriol came from the athletes’ own countries.
- Abuse is triggered by a person’s affiliation with a club. Liverpool players, for example, have been abused on Twitter by fans of Liverpool’s Premier League opponents.