EPL

Neville urges six-month social media boycott following Pogba abuse

By Sports Desk August 20, 2019

Phil Neville has called for the football community to boycott social media for six months after the latest instance of high-profile racist abuse.

England women's manager Neville was reacting to Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba being targeted online after he had a penalty saved in Monday's 1-1 Premier League draw at Wolves.

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham and Reading's Yakou Meite have also been subjected to similar abuse over the past week following their own penalty failures.

United issued a statement branding the slurs directed towards Pogba as "disgusting" and called for social media companies to take action as they work to identify the perpetrators in this instance.

However, Neville has little faith in the likes of Twitter and Instagram making a meaningful difference and called on those within the game to take a stand.

"I've lost total faith in whoever runs these social media departments, so I just wonder whether now as a football community, in terms of really sending a powerful message, is: come off social media," he said at a news conference ahead of his team's matches against Belgium and Norway.

"Six months – let's come off social media. Let's see the effect that it has on these social media companies, whether they're really going to do something about it."

Neville also spoke out last October after former England and Chelsea star Karen Carney received rape and death threats on Instagram.

"We talk to them all the time because my players get that kind of abuse all the time, whether it’s racist, whether it’s sexist, whether it’s homophobic,” he continued.

"They get that kind of abuse. Nothing gets done about it, but we experienced it earlier in the season.

"It's not going away, I think there’s some fantastic campaigns, initiatives, messaging that goes out, particularly in the Premier League, through the FA, about trying to stamp out racism.

"And at times, you feel as if you're making inroads, and then you get probably a massive reminder that actually we’re probably not.

"It’s a problem not just in football – it’s a problem in society, but football now is at the forefront of everybody’s minds in terms of, we’ve got the power to do something about it. I think the football community will.

"I think we try, but it’s getting to the point now where I think we need to make a real strong message, and I say to every single footballer out there, and to every club, and to the PFA: why don't we make a big stand? Come off social media. Boycott all social media now and see if that makes a big enough impact."

Pogba's United team-mate Harry Maguire called for all social media accounts to be verified and Neville suggested he would support such an approach.

"Maguire said this morning about being verified, giving passport details and addresses to be hold accountable for posting such disgusting things," he added.

"You can be an egg on Twitter and no one knows who you are."

Anti-discrimination pressure group Kick It Out has lamented the "increasingly predictable" nature of online attacks.

"This is a call to action – we want to know what they [social media companies] are going to do to tackle this insidious problem," a Kick It Out statement read.

Related items

  • Klopp: Liverpool success helps and hinders with transfers Klopp: Liverpool success helps and hinders with transfers

    Jurgen Klopp admitted success helped Champions League titleholders Liverpool attract players, but it also made completing signings harder.

    While they hold a 19-point lead atop the Premier League, Liverpool have been linked with moves for numerous players, including RB Leipzig star Timo Werner.

    Klopp is unfazed by suggestions his team are the world's best, but said it could help with signings.

    "It's easier if players see you as that. If they see you are successful, it's easier to get into talks with players," he told UK newspapers.

    "But on the other side, it's more difficult the better your team is because they ask questions like, 'where and when would I play?'

    "We need players who want to be part of this, who want to fight for their spot, who want to make the next step together with us, who want to develop and improve so that's it.

    "We have these players and whoever wants to join us needs to have exactly this kind of attitude."

    Liverpool are still unbeaten in the Premier League ahead of hosting West Ham at Anfield on Monday.

    Klopp said finding the right players to add to his side, who were Champions League winners last season, was difficult.

    "The age group of the team is good in the moment. In two or three years, maybe it'll be different but for the moment, it's good," he said.

    "It depends on what you want. Is it a good age for selling? Probably not. But is it a good age for performing? Yes.

    "So there are a lot of things we have to think about. It's an interesting period."

  • Joao Felix will fulfil potential if he listens to Simeone & Atletico team-mates – Koke Joao Felix will fulfil potential if he listens to Simeone & Atletico team-mates – Koke

    Atletico Madrid captain Koke said Joao Felix can fulfil his enormous potential if he listens to Diego Simeone and his team-mates after making a goalscoring return from injury.

    Joao Felix had been sidelined since January due to a muscle injury but Atletico's record signing came off the bench and scored in Sunday's 3-1 LaLiga victory over Villarreal.

    The 20-year-old attacker arrived from Benfica in a €126million deal at the start of the season and has scored five goals across all competitions.

    "Everyone can see what is expected of Joao, he's a young boy and he has lots of room for improvement," Koke said post-match.

    "Many great players have had to adapt to Atletico and it's not easy, he's young.

    "If he listens to the boss and his team-mates, he will be the player that everyone wants to see.

    "He's not been lucky with injuries, but I'm sure that, in the future, we'll see the Joao we want to see."

    Atletico came from behind in the Spanish capital, where Simeone's side trailed to Paco Alcacer's 16th-minute opener at Wanda Metropolitano.

    Angel Correa, Koke and Joao Felix led the comeback as Atletico moved up to third in LaLiga, behind leaders Barcelona and city rivals Real Madrid.

    "Speaking about Koke, our captain, our talisman and one of our longest-serving players [with] Saul [Niguez], [Jose] Gimenez, Thomas [Partey]," Simeone said.

    "He knows what we're looking for, a tactical condition that lots of players don't have and a pass that seems slow but he knows where he is.

    "He can play on the right, in the middle. He and Saul are the ones who can play in any position."

    Simeone paired Correa with Alvaro Morata up front and the Atletico head coach added: "The two worked very well, they have lots of strength in their feet to go out and press people. Morata did a very good job and Correa is in fantastic form. We're very happy with the competition for places.

    "The return of [Kieran] Trippier, Joao Felix... [Yannick] Carrasco is getting better, [Sime Vrsaljko] is very strong, Vitolo had a great game and the substitutes brought fresh legs."

  • Former Juve & Man City forward Bojinov sent off before debut Former Juve & Man City forward Bojinov sent off before debut

    Former Juventus and Manchester City forward Valeri Bojinov was sent off before he could make his debut for Serie B outfit Pescara.

    Bojinov joined Pescara as a free agent earlier this month, having been without a club since leaving Bulgarian side Botev Vratsa.

    The 34-year-old's start to life at Pescara, however, has not gone according to plan after he was sent off as a substitute on Sunday.

    Bojinov – sitting on the bench – was shown a red card for dissent in the 26th minute during Pescara's 4-1 loss at Crotone.

    The 43-time Bulgaria international moved to Juve on loan in 2006-07 after their relegation to Serie B following the infamous match-fixing scandal.

    Bojinov scored seven goals across all competitions as Juve earned promotion before he was signed by Premier League outfit City in August 2007.

    But Bojinov failed to impress and his career has not kicked on, with stints at Parma, Sporting CP, Lecce, Verona, Vicenza, Levski Sofia, Ternana, Partizan, Meizhou Hakka, Lausanne and Rijeka among the clubs making up his CV so far.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.