Three youth players released by Portsmouth following 'discriminatory messages'

Three youth players have been released by Portsmouth FC following an investigations into "discriminatory messages" sent in an "academy private group chat."

The League One side launched an investigation after images appeared on social media of posts in a private chat following England’s Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy earlier this month.

In a statement said it was "fully committed to the elimination of all forms of discrimination."

The entire youth squad was suspended in July as an investigation was launched. Those found not to be involved have now been allowed to return to training.

Following the announcement of the investigation, the club's owner, Michael Eisner, said there was 'no place for hatred or bigotry of any kind' at the club and promised 'appropriate consequences' for anyone taking part in racist behaviour.

In a statement released on Wednesday (28 July) the club said: "Portsmouth Football Club can confirm that the investigation – and subsequent disciplinary process – into discriminatory messages that originated from an academy U18 private group chat has now concluded."We can confirm that a decision has been made today (July 28) to release three players from the academy.

"These players do have the right to appeal the club’s decision.Portsmouth Football Club are fully committed to the elimination of all forms of discrimination."

The club said that it was part of a "diverse community" and it is "dedicated to promoting an environment of equality and inclusion at all times."

"We also continue to respectfully appeal for everyone’s consideration in their use of social media posts directed towards any of the club’s employees and any other external parties," the club added.

Steve Goodsell, Show Racism the Red Card said more education, dialogue and support is needed.

He said: "This whole thing with social media, everybody including these young footballers, they need to understand more about the implications of tweeting things where maybe they need to take a second thought.

"Look they were racist and you have to say what it is, racism."

  • Steve Goodsell, Show Racism the Red Card: