Twelve men suspected of racially abusing Tottenham star Heung-min Son unmasked


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Welcome men suspected of racially abusing Tottenham star Heung-min Son on Twitter have been exposed in a UK-wide crackdown on football hatred.

Police condemned the “vulgar and utterly unacceptable” comments directed at Son after anonymous social media users were identified, tracked down and arrested or questioned on bail.

South Korean forward Son, 28, was targeted following a controversial decision to rule out a goal from Edinson Cavani on April 11.

Manchester United have banned six supporters since their 3-1 victory at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, north London.

Ahead of Euro 21, Scotland Yard today warned racist thugs that they will find it harder to hide behind anonymity online.

The 12th suspect was visited by Met officers last night at his home in Trafford, Greater Manchester.

Over the past two weeks, 11 other people between the ages of 20 and 63 have been questioned on suspicion of using words or displaying written material, with the intention of instigating racial hatred through the United Kingdom, including Wales, Poole, Retford, Warrington, Bristol, Hartlepool and Scunthorpe. .

In April, football staged a four-day social media boycott in response to a wave of recent incidents of racism targeting players.

Detective Sergeant Matt Simpson of the Met’s Public Order Crime Team said: “This action makes it clear that police will not stand for racist brutality, even if it is committed online.

“The messages, which were all on Twitter, were vulgar and totally unacceptable.

“There is no safe haven for this type of abusive behavior and we are committed to taking decisive action to uproot it.”

During the match, the very offensive comments by Twitter directed at Son were first detected through Man Utd’s online reporting tool and then reported to Greater Manchester Police.

The Met has taken the lead in the investigation, liaising closely with the National Police, social media companies and the two football clubs.

Through careful police work, the anonymous users of the account were identified and traced.

London force officers then traveled hundreds of kilometers to make arrests and question suspects.

The Met has said it is committed to working with football clubs to end racism, whether the abuse occurs inside or outside stadiums.

Sgt Simpson added, “As a busy football summer approaches, we are committed to driving out this type of racist behavior – it has no place in football.

“I am delighted with the support we have received from our fellow police officers at national level and from Manchester United and Tottenham. Without them, it would be difficult to identify these users and take action. “

Police Chief Mark Roberts, Head of Football Policing at the National Council of Chiefs of Police, said: “This is a great example of the police service’s commitment to tackling online abuse of footballers.

“In taking action, we must hope to send the message to offenders that you cannot hide and that we will see more and more arrests as the forces, the British Football Police Unit and the Wider football organizations will coordinate their efforts.

“It should also reassure the players that we take this very seriously, and if they come forward we will support them.”

Tony Burnett, CEO of anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out, added: “We are delighted to see these arrests made, it sends a powerful message that online abuse is unacceptable and those convicted will face to real consequences.

“Social media has become a vehicle for inappropriate behavior in society and some people think it is okay to send abusive messages.

“We need to make sure that we create an environment where online abuse is punished and perpetrators are identified as much as possible.

“These arrests demonstrate the police’s commitment to tackling online abuse and we hope this sends a message to others to think twice before posting discriminatory abuse.

“It is also important that we remain focused on the well-being of those who play, watch and work in football, and suffer abuse, and we will continue to offer our support to those in need.”

Greater Manchester Police Commissioner Julie Ellison said: ‘There is absolutely no place for racism in our communities, and I hope these arrests send a clear message to those who think it is okay to spread the word. the hatred and abuse behind protecting their keyboard, that this is absolutely not the case.

“We will do everything in our power to identify who you are and bring you to justice.”

Officers said they would continue to identify other potential game-related infractions.


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