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Burnley say defender Pieters abused online after Arsenal draw

FILE - Burnley defender Erik Pieters. Photo: Clive Brunskill/AFP

FILE - Burnley defender Erik Pieters. Photo: Clive Brunskill/AFP

Published Mar 7, 2021


LONDON – Burnley said on Sunday that defender Erik Pieters was subjected to online abuse after Saturday's 1-1 Premier League home draw with Arsenal in which the Dutchman was sent off before getting a reprieve from the Video Assistant Referee (VAR).

Arsenal felt they should have had a penalty when the ball hit second-half substitute Pieters' arm in the box and shortly afterwards he went close to putting his side ahead with a volley that was tipped over the bar by Bernd Leno.

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Pieters was then sent off for handball when he cleared a goalbound Nicolas Pepe shot in the penalty area but VAR overturned referee Andre Marriner's decision to show him a red card and award Arsenal a spot kick.

"We are aware of online abuse directed at Erik Pieters following yesterday's game," Burnley tweeted. "Thanks to all who have highlighted it. We are in contact with all relevant parties and offering our support to Erik and his family."

Increased online abuse of players has prompted English soccer bodies to put pressure on social media companies to tackle the menace.

Instagram has announced measures to deal with online abuse, including removing accounts of people who send abusive messages and developing new controls to help reduce the abuse people see.

Twitter said in 2019 that "vile content has no place on our service" after it took action on more than 700 cases of "abuse and hateful conduct" related to soccer in Britain in two weeks and promised to continue its efforts to curb the problem.


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