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Football clubs and players should boycott social media over lack of action on racism, Phil Neville says

Football clubs and players should boycott social media because of the lack of action taken against racists online, England women's head coach Phil Neville has said.

The England manager said not enough was being done by Twitter and Instagram to clamp down on racist abuse sent to players, after Paul Pogba was targeted following his penalty miss against Wolves on Monday.

The incident comes just days after Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham and Reading's Yakou Meite were also targeted by racists online.

Paul Pogba was racially abused online following his penalty miss against Wolves. Credit: PA

Neville said he had "lost faith" in social media companies to respond effectively to racist abuse, and added it was up to the "football community" to react in a decisive manner.

The former Manchester United full-back said: "I personally think that we now have to take drastic measures now as a football community."

He added: "I just wonder whether, I've had it with my players on social media...

"I just wonder whether as a football community now, whether we come off social media.

"Because Twitter won't do anything about it, Instagram won't do anything about it.

"They send you an email reply saying they'll investigate, but nothing happens.

"So 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.

"Six months, come off social media, lets see the affect that it has."

Manchester United drew 1-1 with Wolves. Credit: PA

Neville added that members of the England women's team had been subjected to "racist, sexist or homophobic" abuse on a "daily" basis, but "nothing gets done about it".

The former Manchester United defender continued: "Nothing gets done about it.

"We experienced it with a couple of our players earlier this season, nothing gets done about it.

"That's why I've lost faith in social media companies that they're actually trying to do something about it.

"We explain to them all the time about the need for making sure that they are posting things that are acceptable, that are inspirational to the young girls that are following them, and explain to them the pitfalls."

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Pogba's Manchester United teammates have rallied around the French international following the racist abuse he had suffered on social media.

United defender Harry Maguire wrote on Twitter: "Disgusting. Social media need to do something about it... Every account that is opened should be verified by a passport/driving licence. Stop these pathetic trolls making numerous accounts to abuse people".

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Marcus Rashford also took to Twitter, saying: "Enough now, this needs to stop @Twitter".

Manchester United said they were "disgusted" by the abuse and said they would take the "strongest course of action" against those responsible.

The club's statement said: "The individuals who expressed these views do not represent the values of our great club and it is encouraging to see the vast majority of our fans condemn this on social media also.

"Manchester United has zero tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaigning against it through our #AllRedAllEqual initiative.

"We will work to identify the few involved in these incidents and take the strongest course of action available to us.

"We also encourage social media companies to take action in these cases."

In a statement to ITV News, Twitter said it was "monitoring the conversation" and had "permanently deleted a series of accounts".

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It also used its own platform to respond to the outrage, stating: "We’re fully aware of and share the concerns surrounding online racist abuse towards certain footballers in the UK over recent days.

"We strongly condemn this unacceptable behaviour, and have now permanently suspended a series of accounts for violating our Hateful Conduct Policy.

"This is a societal issue and requires a societal response.

"This is why we maintain a dialogue with both the @PFA and @kickitout and are committed to working together to address abusive online and racist behaviour across the industry."

In a statement to ITV News, Facebook said it had removed more than six million pieces of hate speech in the first three months of 2019, and it wants anyone who sees offensive content to report it to them.