Portsmouth investigate their players’ racist chat on England penalty takers with the League One side issuing a statement on the matter.
The Fratton Park outfit are looking into some of their academy footballers after they allegedly used racially abusive language in the wake of the Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy.
Images on social media have gone viral, appearing to show a screen grab from a group chat from the club’s under-18s side.
A series of racially offensive terms and images are used in it, with Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka suffering racist abuse after missing from the spot.
Portsmouth Football Club statement#Pompey
— Portsmouth FC (@Pompey) July 14, 2021
“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.”
One post in the private chat referred to the England team using the n-word whilst another suggested Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford – who missed one of the spot-kicks – would be “lynched”.
Messages including “all black ones missed”, “houses getting bombed” and “death threats immediately” appeared on a screenshot apparently taken from a private chat, which was shared online.
It is understood the club have notified the English Football League 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.
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.’
Sixth-tier neighbours Havant and Waterlooville announced on Monday it had removed a volunteer from his role after ‘discriminatory’ social media posts after the England loss.
Their statement read: “We can confirm that we are in receipt of social media posts of a discriminatory nature made by a club volunteer last night. We are deeply saddened and offended by the comments made, which we strongly believe have no place in society.
“We have taken immediate action and I can confirm that the volunteer in question has been removed from all duties at the club permanently.
“Under no circumstance do Havant and Waterlooville FC tolerate racially charged or discriminatory behaviour, whether online, within our stadium or our community.
“Stuart Munro, CEO Havant and Waterlooville FC”
Fans reacted as Portsmouth investigate their players’ racist chat about England penalty takers…
@PFCBakKieran: They do not deserve to wear our shirt. I don’t care how much potential they may have. Get them out.
@Oliveresuana: What are the parents doing?
@BTK19802: Punish them, Educate them, Then cancel any contract. Just getting them out of the club solves nothing
@harveybotblue: Plus… Punish the parents. Educate the parents. But still cancel any contracts.
@Jeremy_Drew: Investigate, validate and then determine the corrective action and penalty accordingly. If it’s as bad as it looks and has been reported then dreams and aspirations should be over and lifetime ban from involvement at any level in the game. Actions have consequences
@BenC5: None of these young men can ever play for Portsmouth. No excuses.
@PUPethan: don’t want them anywhere near the club, get em gone.
@rickstrang: Have them gone. This is not what Pompey is and they have no place at my club. And do it very publicly, out in the open. Proper fans will support the club taking a strong position.
@jezzurps: Gross. Investigation is right but we need to be quick and decisive and send a message. This is a national problem though too unfortunately. Felt like we were moving forward in the 1990s but when under 18s have these kind of attitudes it’s clear our education system is failing
@callump46552773: Automatically cut all ties, release them all, embarrassing
@StevenLHughes: The more I think about this the angrier I get. Us fans put our hands in our pocket to support the academy. I sometimes pay the extra pound on my matchday ticket to go to the academy if I have a spare few quid so to see the products of that investment behave like this is sickening.
@OceanPCs: If found true, anything other than immediate expulsion will be unacceptable. No apologies, tears to camera, no heartful promises to change can repair the damage. There is no way back.
@RABbrook: Now is the time to show how much of community club we are. Step up and protect and educate the community.
@WELLS35: If it’s true they have to go – no place for racism in my club or any club! Very upsetting, disappointing and embarrassing if true!
@nick_origami: We don’t want them.
@kal141099: Terminate the contract there don’t deserve too play for any club at all absolute disgusting behaviour. There also need locking up too
@mrweasley93: Sack them on the spot. Disgusting
@Merl1n79: Get them out, Racism needs to be stamped out in football and if the club don’t come down on this hard then how can they lecture the fans in future!
@Outsiders_Footy: No need for education. They need to be sacked if your club is serious about fighting racism.
@Hwa__x: I hope the outcome of your investigation will reflect the severity of their actions/words and will be dealt with accordingly. The outcome should be shared with the public to ensure we are reassured that it has been dealt with appropriately
@Bluekriss66: Don’t ever want these sort representing our club. Don’t care how good they are.
@Greenwoood_SZN: Good, ban them from football, clearly aren’t fit for the role of a role mode
@JamieSartain94: Get them gone
@ChubbJosh: Release them but educate them first. They won’t be missed from any football match in the future
@IndianaDerman: Embarrassed to call myself a life long Pompey fan
@martinlloydpfc: terminate their contracts
@IainPompey657: Just a thought, invite Noel Blake down to the club and tell these kids to explain to his face what they put on the chat room.
@pompey657mark: Not fit to wear the shirt,get them out nothing more to say
@CoreyLFHoness: Disgusting that this is happening, in society as a whole, but then at a football club! Find out who did it, find out who encouraged it, then cancel all contracts. Racism and discrimination of any nature has no place in this world. They should be banned from turning professional
@AlexFtbl: Get them gone.
@RyanHudson2009: The sooner they are out of the club the better.
@apoyntzroberts: Terminate all their contracts and should not be allowed to sign a professional contract in the future. Set the bar!
@Communard55: The club is decaying fast under these absentee owners, poor youth set up, poor role models.
@CrossvaderDJ: If this is genuine and players contracted to the club are involved – U18’s or otherwise – I hope they’re ejected from the club immediately and banned by local/national FA’s from ever being able to play for another club again. Shameful.
This is embarrassing. Make all their names public and terminate their contracts. Laughable considering they will never be a fraction of the player they are mocking. Not the clubs fault but makes me sick to be associated with this in any way.
— Porge (@georgealexpe) July 14, 2021
Get them out. Stop these excuses .. You have a black player on the same team too, and they’re using words like that. Have you no shame ? pic.twitter.com/2FfVSSN7em
— pushark (@pusharkafc) July 14, 2021
— LHG22🏴 (@LHG22_) July 14, 2021