Monday, 26 Jul 2021

England POLL: Should social media users prove identity to have accounts to stop racism?

Boris Johnson criticises racial abuse after Euro final

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Gareth Southgate, Boris Johnson and Prince William were among those coming out to condemn the bad behaviour of fans both before and after the match, which included hundreds without tickets storming security barriers to force their way into Wembley Stadium.

New footage, seen by more than 11 million on Twitter, shows hundreds of football fans breaking into the ground, greeted by a wall of attackers on the inside.

Some intruders were seriously injured with one Asian man being punched and kicked on the floor repeatedly by multiple men.

Stewards were unable to barricade the break in point and Wembley has been criticised for poor security.

Antonio Falvo, 39 from Swindon, attended the match in support of Italy and said: “I’ve never been so scared in my life, my mate’s little boy was petrified.

“There was smashed glass everywhere and the England fans were leaving their seats to come over to the Italian side and start punching people.

“The thing that scared me the most was, if someone was a terrorist, they could’ve blown up half of Wembley.

“I’ve never been to a stadium where the security was so bad.”

Mr Falvo told Express.co.uk that 40-50 intruders at a time were forcing their way through fire exit doors at multiple Wembley entrances and punching anyone who got in their way. He estimated that although 60,000 tickets were sold, there were hundreds, if not thousands, more in the stadium who had managed to gain access.

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Police arrested 49 people on Sunday and 19 officers were injured during violent confrontations with fans, so Express.co.uk is asking readers should England fans who stormed Wembley without tickets be jailed after the life-threatening scenes?

Wembley’s audience was made up of approximately 90 percent England fans, some of whom booed through the Italian national anthem and whenever Italy had possession of the ball.

Former England striker Gary Lineker tweeted that booing the opposition is “bloody rude, disrespectful and utterly classless”.

The Football Association was fined £26,000 after England supporters shone lasers into the face of Denmark goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel during Harry Kane’s penalty, which won the game for England.

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In light of England fans’ violent behaviour and poor sportsmanship, many are questioning whether England will be black marked in the competition to host the 2030 World Cup.

Government data tells us that over the last decade arrests made for football-related crimes have dropped by 65 per cent, and arrests for violent disorder at football matches dropped by 49 per cent. But the violence seen this weekend may turn these figures on their head.

So has England scuppered its hopes of hosting the 2030 World Cup after fans cause chaos at Wembley?

Outside the stadium, aggression was also aimed at black England players online, with penalty takers Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka being the main targets after failing to find the back of the net.

The players were reportedly sent monkey emojis along with abusive comments.

England manager Gareth Southgate condemned the online abuse, in a press conference this morning he said: “They (England squad) should be, and I think they are, incredibly proud of what they’ve done. For some of them to be abused is unforgivable really.”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson echoed this message, he tweeted: “This England team deserve to be lauded as heroes, not racially abused on social media.

“Those responsible for this appalling abuse should be ashamed of themselves.”

Another tweet from the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge read: “I am sickened by the racist abuse aimed at England players after last night’s match.

“It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour. It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable.”

Twitter said it has deleted more than 1,000 racist tweets aimed at the England players and suspended numerous accounts. But there is currently no identification process which could stop individuals from simply creating another anonymous account. So should social media users be forced to prove identity to have an account in order to stop racism?

The Metropolitan Police is investigating the abuse and said “it will not be tolerated”, but many argue that their ability to police racism and hate-speech online is limited due to user anonymity.

FA chief executive Mark Bullingham said: “Social media companies need to step up and take accountability and action to ban abusers from their platforms, gather evidence that can lead to prosecution and support making their platforms free from this type of abhorrent abuse.”

But should racists be banned for life from attending football matches? 

The England squad and the FA have shown commitment to stamping out racism with the Kick it Out campaign and the footballers’ choice to take the knee before games, in support of Black Lives Matter over the last 12 months.

A petition started by Shaista, Amna and Huda (#TheThreeHijabis) on Change.org has called for racists to be banned for life from all football matches in England. But do you agree?

Data tells us that on average only 25 arrests for racist and indecent chanting are made at football matches per year, suggesting that policing of this issue needs to step up offline too.

Arrests for racist and indecent chanting increased by five times between 2016 and 2020.

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