The majority of players in the Euro 2020 and AFCON finals were abused online, according to a FIFA-published report.

A separate report released by FIFA five months before the start of the 2022 World Cup in Qatar identified homosexual and racist comments as the two main areas of concern.

More than 400,000 social media posts spread across Twitter and Instagram were investigated and 541 cases of direct discrimination or other forms of abuse were found.

Most of the hateful comments originated in the countries of the target players, 38 percent of which were made in the United Kingdom.

Studies have shown that 40 percent of abusive messages contain homophobic content and 38 percent are racist. Another three percent were classified as intimidating, while 58 percent of racist comments are still visible online in April 2022, while 87 percent of non-racist perpetrators are still alive.

The report comes after England players Bukayo Saka, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford were racially abused online after losing to Italy in the Euro 2020 final penalty shoot-out, in which England finally lost.

It turned out that 78 percent of the abuses addressed to players participating in that game contained racist comments.

Such misconduct was condemned by England’s manager Gareth Southgate as well as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who vowed to crack down on racist trolls.

For the AFCON finals in Senegal and Egypt, abuse was found to be 26 percent racist and 62 percent homophobic.

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FIFA said it would co-operate with FIFPRO, the global players’ union, to launch a moderation service to monitor hate speech during upcoming tournaments, in the hope that it would stop seeing messages through targets.

FIFA president Gianni Infantino said: “It is our duty to protect football and it starts with players who bring joy and happiness to all of us, including the adventures on the field.”

“We want our actions to speak louder than our words, and that’s why we’re taking concrete steps to address the problem directly.”

Also the Moderation Tool, the FIFA Tournament in 2022 and 2023 will provide players with educational and mental health advice to help them deal with online abuse.

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