Man United want talks with Twitter to discuss racial abuse
Old Trafford officials were sickened by comments directed at Paul Pogba after he missed a penalty for Manchester United in Monday night’s 1-1 draw at Wolves. Photo: Andrew Yates/Reuters
LONDON – Manchester United want face-to-face talks with Twitter executives after Paul Pogba was racially abused on social media.
Old Trafford officials were sickened by comments directed at the midfielder after he missed a penalty in Monday night’s 1-1 draw at Wolves.
They released a statement yesterday condemning those involved, and promising the “strongest course of action” should they be able to identify them.
Sportsmail understands United executives are keen to go a step further and meet their counterparts at Twitter to discuss their concerns.
Twitter are already taking an active role in combating racial abuse suffered by footballers, and Sportsmail can reveal they will present their blueprint to Kick It Out next week.
Plans to meet representatives from the anti-racism group have been fast-tracked due to the amount of abuse aimed at players this season.
Pogba, Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Reading’s Yakou Meite have been targeted over the past week.
United said in a statement: “The individuals who expressed these views do not represent the values of our great club, and it is encouraging to see the vast majority of our fans condemn this.
“We will work to identify the few involved in these incidents and take the strongest course of action available to us.
“We also encourage social media companies to take action.”
Pogba’s teammates Harry Maguire and Marcus Rashford called for punishment yesterday.
Maguire tweeted: “Disgusting. Social media need to do something about it... Every account that is opened should be verified by a passport/driving licence. Stop these pathetic trolls making numerous accounts to abuse people.”
Rashford said: “Manchester United is a family. Paul Pogba is a huge part of that family. You attack him, you attack us all.”
England women’s manager Phil Neville called for a boycott. “I’ve lost faith in whoever runs these social media departments,” said Neville.
“I wonder whether now as a football community, in terms of really sending a powerful message: six months – let’s come off social media.
“Let’s see the effect it has on these social media companies, whether they’re really going to do something about it.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association are set to meet Facebook, who also own Instagram.
The players’ union has called on social media networks to take stronger action to stop racist abuse.
A spokesperson for Twitter said they were “fully aware” of the abuse, “strongly condemned” it, and had permanently suspended accounts for violating its hateful-conduct policy.
They added: “This is a societal issue and requires a societal response.
“This is why we maintain a dialogue with the PFA and Kick It Out, and are committed to working together to address abusive and racist behaviour.”