LONDON - British police launched an investigation on Monday after two England internationals were subjected to racial abuse on social networking site Twitter.
Ashley Young and Ashley Cole were targeted after missing penalties in England’s Euro 2012 quarterfinal loss to Italy on Sunday.
“We are aware of alleged racist comments on Twitter following Sunday’s England game and have launched an investigation,” a Metropolitan Police spokesman said.
The allegation was made to MPS on June 25 by a member of the public relating to comments on a Twitter account supposedly based in London. The Football Association branded the Twitter attacks as “appalling and unacceptable”.
“We are concerned at the reports regarding allegations of abuse aimed at England players Ashley Cole and Ashley Young on Twitter,” an FA statement read.
“They have just given everything for the national team at Euro 2012 and it is appalling and unacceptable that messages of an abusive type are being posted. We support any police investigation in identifying who is behind this.”
Cole and Young, who returned home with the remainder of the England team on Monday, were singled out for abuse by one user following their 4-2 penalty shoot-out defeat.
In a series of offensive postings, the user goaded others who criticised him for his rants. In one post the tweeter wrote: “All I got to say is this was just a joke, you guys need to relax, police know I was kidding around and they won’t bother me hopefully, cheers.”
In March, student Liam Stacey was jailed for 56 days after racially abusing two Twitter users and mocking Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba after he collapsed and almost died. – Nampa/AFP