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Liverpool condemn online racial abuse of trio after Real Madrid defeat

FOOTBALL By Reuters | April 7th 2021
Football - Champions League - Quarter Final - First Leg - Real Madrid v Liverpool - Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano, Madrid, Spain - April 6, 2021. Liverpool's Sadio Mane in action with Real Madrid's Eder Militao. [REUTERS/Susana Vera]

Liverpool on Wednesday condemned the "abhorrent" racial abuse of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and Sadio Mane on social media after the trio were targeted following Tuesday's 3-1 Champions League defeat by Real Madrid.

England defender Alexander-Arnold was sent monkey emojis on his latest Instagram post, while similar abuse was directed at Guinea midfielder Keita and Senegal forward Mane.

"Once again we are sadly discussing abhorrent racial abuse the morning after a football game. It is utterly unacceptable and it has to stop," Liverpool said in a statement.

"LFC condemns all forms of discrimination and we continue to work with our inclusion partners through our Red Together initiative to campaign against it."

English soccer's governing bodies have urged social media companies to tackle the problem of online abuse in the wake of racist messages aimed at players, including Manchester United's Axel Tuanzebe, Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial and Arsenal's Willian and Eddie Nketiah.

Instagram has announced a series of measures while Twitter has promised to continue its efforts after taking action on more than 700 cases of abuse related to soccer in Britain in 2019.

Real Madrid's Vinicius Junior in action with Liverpool's Trent Alexander-Arnold. [REUTERS/Susana Vera]

Liverpool said they would work with the relevant authorities to identify the users responsible for the messages.

"As a club, we will offer our players any and all support that they may require," the Premier League champions said. "We will also work... to identify and, if possible, prosecute those responsible.

"We know this will not be enough until strongest possible measures are taken by platforms and regulatory bodies which govern them. The current situation cannot be allowed to continue."

Last month, former Arsenal and France striker Thierry Henry deleted his social media accounts to protest against the platforms for not taking action against anonymous account holders who are guilty of racism and bullying online. 

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