The club announced that it has initiated disciplinary proceedings against Portsmouth youth players who made racist comments. Photos that appeared on social media following England’s defeat to Italy in the European Championship final are evidence of some Under-18 players making racist comments in private chats. The club suspended all players involved in the investigation while the proceedings continue.
After images of racist comments made by players on the internet, Portsmouth opened an investigation. The English club posted on its website that a disciplinary procedure will be initiated in accordance with labor law and club policy. It will last at most five days. During the investigation, all players under 18 have been suspended. All players who were not part of the disciplinary process have since been allowed to return to the training grounds. The club will not comment on further matters until the disciplinary procedures are completed.
The club also appeals. “With the investigation and sensitivity of this matter in mind, Portsmouth is appealing for everyone’s consideration when using social media posts addressed to any of our employees and, of course, any other third party.” The allegations came to light on Wednesday, July 14, when the Hampshire Constabulary reported an investigation into “hate-related messages”. A spokesperson for the police said that they do not tolerate hate crimes in Portsmouth. “Any crime that arises from ignorance, prejudice, or hatred is unacceptable.”
Recently, Michael Eisner, the Portsmouth owner, spoke out about the issue. He stated that there is no place for hate or bigotry at Portsmouth or in any other organisation. “We won’t tolerate this, and we will impose the appropriate penalties on anyone who engages with racist behavior on social networks.” Eisner refused to reveal the identities of those involved in the investigation. It is also unknown how many players are involved.
Because they missed the penalty against Italy in the final of the European Championship, Marcus Rashford (Bukayo Saka) and Jadon Sancho received racist comments. Vandals defaced a mural depicting the Manchester United attacker in Withington, Rashford’s hometown. Local residents taped the graffiti and added support statements to it. Since then, the painting has been restored. The police declared the statements to the black players in England “totally unacceptable” and launched an investigation.