Portsmouth sack three players for racist comments they made in a Snapchat group aimed at England stars after the Euro 2020 final.
The Fratton Park outfit looked into some of their academy footballers after images of the conversation went viral, with a screen grab showing the group chat from the League One 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.
Earlier in July, a statement read: “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.
NEW CLUB STATEMENT
Portsmouth Football Club can confirm that the investigation – and subsequent disciplinary process – into discriminatory messages that originated from an academy U18 private group chat has now concluded.
We can confirm that a decision has been made today (July 28) to release three players from the academy. These players do have the right to appeal the club’s decision.
Portsmouth Football Club are fully committed to the elimination of all forms of discrimination.
We are part of a diverse community and are dedicated to promoting an environment of equality and inclusion at all times – both inside the football club and in our wider society.
We also continue to respectfully appeal for everyone’s consideration in their use of social media posts directed towards any of the club’s employees and any other external parties.
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.’
Fans reacted as Portsmouth sack three players for racist comments aimed at England stars…
Good riddance, sets a precedence and about time the authorities above starting dishing out firmer sanctions. No place for this in our game or at our club #pup #bluearmy #showracismtheredcard #kickitout #howmanycampaigns #stillnothingchanged
— AIM4C4UL4Y (@41M4C4UL4Y) July 28, 2021
@RyanHudson2009: Correct decision, not welcome at our club
@cliff_torr: Few comments from those lot up the road on here already….. seem to forget their club hid child abuse by staff on youth team players for years
@_robertsafc: Good riddance lads
@ChanyoungLee03: Great decision 👏🏼👏🏼
@dustymillarcosh: The right decision. It’s an example to others
@sneakay: Well done Pompey. Correct decision. Hopefully this will set a precedent around the country that racism is not tolerated!
@MutterAndUtter: Right decision. Well done Pompey. We are better than this. PUP.
@kallybisla: Hopefully no other clubs pick them up and that’s their careers done. Racists don’t deserve the privilege of being a pro footballer.
@MattKarlsson: Brilliant news. Just have to hope now that they don’t get picked up by any other clubs
@Willmott3Sam: So they should be. Doesn’t matter the age racism shouldn’t be tolerated
@JasonFi54446935: Only outcome for me, glad it’s sorted.
@Jensons_Beard: Club’s acted well. Investigated it properly and took the right action. Shame it had to happen but I’m happy with the zero tolerance policy.
@1874dan: WAHEYYYY careers over before they’ve even begun ahahaha racist bastards
@JHancock46: ‘They’ve ruined their careers forever’ fuck that, don’t give a shit. I care about their black teammates, and all the young black players that would die to be in their position
@Dan_C1990: I have the utmost respect for Portsmouth for doing this. A warning that discrimination will not be tolerated.
@JJ_19_04: Serves em right
@PompeyPedro: Given the truly vile nature of the comments you can’t argue with this. I’m always someone who leans towards education and rehabilitation but given how embarrassing those screenshots were to the club, my sympathy is absolutely rock bottom.
@liam_curran1: Imagine ruining your career like that, scum
@merson_pfc: Big club mentality
@DSahsprite: Well done Portsmouth. If they can’t appreciate those players then they shouldn’t get to walk out onto a pitch. 👏👏👏
@CanadaPompey: Well done @Pompey, well handled process. Good riddance to whoever these disgusting individuals are. I hope that a suitable process is in place that prevents them being referred or signed at any other club.
@juanrzbl: The better decision
@HazzaTWood96: Let this be a lesson to those who think this is a joke, you’ve done the right thing Pompey, PUP! 🔹🔷🔵💙
@SamWilliamsPFC: Good riddance
@MrFatbloke1968: And when do @HantsPolice get involved to prosecute these 3 individuals to the fullest extent of the law 🤔🤔 #NoPlaceForRacism
@OnlyOneGilbey: Fuck me, took them long enough! Hope the line down the job centre ain’t too long for them
@Gooner_Original: Good! No room for racism. Good luck getting a job at McDonald’s.
@pompeyboy_: Correct decision.