Swansea star Yan Dhanda accuses social media firms of 'adding fuel to fire' after racist abuse

  • Video report by ITV News Sports Editor Steve Scott

Swansea City footballer Yan Dhanda has accused social media giants of "adding fuel to the fire" by not taking stronger action after he was racially abused on Instagram.

The person who targeted him has had their account blocked - but only temporarily - as footballers continue to face racist abuse online.

England stars Marcus Rashford and Reece James have been on the receiving end in recent weeks, as well as Manchester United players Anthony Martial and Lauren James, Reece's sister.

Dhanda says Instagram's response shows people sending vile messages that they can get away with it.

“I was angry more than anything. For the person to be able to send abuse and not get banned on social media and to just be banned from sending messages for just a short period of time it was disgusting really.

“It didn't just affect me, it hurt my family to know that next to nothing has really been done about it.

“The guy or girl, or whoever it was, that has sent the messages… they can just go back to saying whatever they want and abusing whoever they want after just a short period of time.

“And, for me, this is where I think a big problem is with the social media companies, for anyone to create an account and be whoever they want to be and hide behind a screen and say whatever they want to whoever they want… I think it's bad.

“And that's why I'm trying to speak as much now because things need to change."

Such is the extent of racist social media abuse that Arsenal chief executive Vinai Venkatesham described the targeting of black players as the “biggest problem” in football and said its impact “cannot be underestimated”.

His comments came after Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah became the latest high-profile footballer to be targeted.

He was urged to leave the club in a racist message sent in reply to a training picture he posted on Twitter ahead of his side’s Europa League tie against Benfica. Venkatesham said that online racism is becoming normalised and added that he is “worried about the path we are heading on” if progress is not made.

Instagram and its owners Facebook temporarily blocked the user who abused Dhanda from sending messages, and recently revealed a tougher stance against online abuse.