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Youth Players at Two UK Football Clubs Being Investigated for Racist Behaviour

England players taking the knee to protest at racism
© REUTERS / LAURENCE GRIFFITHS

England lost the Euro 2020 final to Italy after three black players - Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka - all missed penalties. All three were later subjected to racist abuse online.

Two football league clubs - one in England and one in Wales - are investigating allegations of racist behaviour among youth players.

Portsmouth, who play in the third tier of English football, launched an investigation after images of a private chat following England’s defeat by Italy were posted on social media.

Cardiff City - who were relegated from the Premier League in May 2019 - are being investigating after a child in their academy allegedly had bananas rubbed into his football kit.

​The allegations at Portsmouth came to light last week and Hampshire Constabulary launched a probe into a "hate-related incident."

Hampshire Police said: "We will not tolerate hate crime in Portsmouth. Any crime perpetuated through ignorance, prejudice or hate is unacceptable."

The club issued a statement which said: "Portsmouth Football Club have concluded an investigation into discriminatory messages that originated from an Academy U18 private group chat. A disciplinary process will now begin, which - in line with club policy and employment law - will last for a minimum of five working days.”

"The club will not be commenting further until the disciplinary process is complete," they added.

The Athletic claimed a boy under 14 was subjected to racist bullying while on Cardiff’s academy minibus travelling to an away match.

​The boy gave evidence to the FA investigators over a Zoom call and has since left Cardiff.

In August 2014 - eight months after he was sacked as Cardiff’s manager - Malky Mackay was accused of sending racist texts to his assistant Iain Moody.

The text messages emerged after Mackay dropped a lawsuit against Cardiff’s owner Vincent Tan.

Mackay, who later apologised for sending “completely unacceptable and inappropriate” messages but denied he was racist, was recently appointed as manager of Ross County in his native Scotland.

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