Portsmouth FC launches 'immediate investigation' into alleged racist messages in Pompey Academy U18 group chat

BOSSES at Pompey have launched an ‘immediate investigation’ into racist messages allegedly uncovered in an under-18 academy group chat.

By Ben Fishwick
Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 9:39 am
Updated Wednesday, 14th July 2021, 12:21 pm

The messages refer to three black England players who failed to score penalties in the Euro 2020 final at Wembley Stadium.

England stars Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka have faced a torrent of racist abuse online after their shots against Italy on Sunday.

Portsmouth Black Lives Matter has already announced a 48-hour boycott of social media in response.

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Portsmouth Football Club, Fratton Park, Portsmouth. Picture: Habibur Rahman

A single screenshot is being widely shared on social media today appearing to be from a group Snapchat conversation.

There are references to lynching, bombing and death threats with monkey emojis used, along with the N-word.

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It’s not clear if this does originate from an academy group chat, and the club is now investigating.

It is understood the club have notified the EFL and Kick It Out in regard to the alleged discriminatory posts, but at present the club investigation is the only one taking place.

The investigation is being conducted by senior management at Portsmouth and it is understood that it centres on the one screen shot which has been widely circulated on social media, and that the club are not aware of any additional abuse within the chat.

A Pompey spokesman said: ‘Portsmouth Football Club are aware of images circulating on social media that allegedly originate from an academy u18 group chat and which are discriminatory in nature.

‘The club have launched an immediate investigation and will provide an update once this has been completed.

‘Portsmouth Football Club strongly condemn racism and are totally committed to the elimination of all forms of discrimination.

‘There is no place for it in our game or society as a whole.’

Sixth-tier Havant and Waterlooville FC announced on Monday it had removed a volunteer from his role after 'discriminatory' social media posts after the England loss.

The Pompey Supporters’ Trust has said it is ‘shocked and appalled’ at the allegations.

A statement said: ‘We welcome the investigation by the club and following discussions with the club we are aware of the seriousness and urgency that this matter is being dealt with.

‘The PST is fiercely opposed to all forms of discrimination and abuse. These vile and abhorrent messages have no place in football or anywhere else in society.’

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