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Manchester United's Paul Pogba under attack

UNDER FIRE: Paul Pogba

KICK It Out – football’s anti-discrimination body has made a call for online racial abuse to be kicked out of football after the targeting of high profile black players in recent weeks.

The latest victim, Paul Pogba, was given grief after his penalty miss for Manchester United against Wolverhampton Wanderers in last night’s Premier League encounter which ended in a 1-1 draw August 19).

Pogba, 26, is the third player to have been subjected to such abuse this season and with many more months to go until the end of the season, there is a strong expectation of the need to clamp down on such behavior as early as possible.

Pogba’s team mates came out in support for him through their condemnation of his online abuse by fans: “Enough now. This needs to stop. Manchester United is a family. Paul Pogba is a huge part of that family. You attack him, you attach us all,” said Manchester United and England Forward, Marcus Rashford.

Harry Maguire tweeted: “Disgusting. Social media need to do something about it… Every account that is opened should be verified by a passport/driving license. Stop these pathetic trolls making numerous accounts to abuse people.”

Manchester United officials are “working to identify” those responsible for the racist abuse directed at Pogba, their record £89.3m signing
from Juventus in 2016. In a statement they said: “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 on social media also.

"Manchester United has zero tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaigning against it through our #AllRedAllEqual initiative. 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 in these cases."

In July, Kick It Out published a report which stated that incidents of racist abuse last season had seen as 43% increase with 274 cases compared with 192 the previous season.

Kick It Out’s Head of Development, Troy Townsend tweeted: “Multiple users allowed to spout targeted racial hatred. They are not all bots. Festering in numbers due to lack of accountability and action.”

Pogba is the latest player to have experienced racial abuse after last week Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham suffered the same after his decisive penalty miss in the Super Cup against Liverpool.

The third player was Reading striker, Yakou Meite, who had his 91st minute spot kick saved against in a Premier League tie against Cardiff on August 18.

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