Liverpool call for action after three players racially abused on social media

Liverpool have called for "the strongest possible preventative measures" to be taken over racist abuse on social media.

It comes after players Trent Alexander-Arnold, Naby Keita and  Sadio Mane were targeted.

They were sent racist emojis and comments via Instagram following Tuesday night's Champions League quarter-final first-leg loss to Real Madrid

Liverpool said in a statement on Wednesday: "Once again we are sadly discussing abhorrent racial abuse the morning after a football game. It is utterly unacceptable and it has to stop.

"LFC condemns all forms of discrimination and we continue to work with our inclusion partners through our Red Together initiative to campaign against it.

As a club, we will offer our players any and all support that they may require. We will also work with the relevant authorities to identify and, if possible, prosecute those responsible.

Liverpool Football Club

"We know that this will not be enough until the strongest possible preventative measures are taken by social media platforms and the regulatory bodies which govern them.

"The current situation cannot be allowed to continue and it is incumbent on all of us to ensure that it does not."

A spokesperson for Facebook, the company which owns Instagram, said: "The abuse directed towards these footballers is abhorrent.

We do not want it on Instagram and we swiftly removed a number of comments and accounts that broke our rules. We recently announced tougher measures to tackle this behaviour and we are committed to doing everything we can to fight hate and racism on our platforms.

Facebook spokesperson

Instagram in February announced new measures, including removing accounts, to tackle online abuse.

Alexander-Arnold, Keita and Mane are only the latest footballers to be targeted.

The likes of Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Fred at Manchester United, Chelsea's Reece James and Borussia Dortmund's England international Jude Bellingham have all been subjected to racist abuse on social media this year.