Swansea City footballer Yan Dhanda 'disgusted' by decision not to permanently ban abuser from social media

  • Video report by ITV Wales reporter Charanpreet Khaira

Swansea City footballer, Yan Dhanda said the decision not to permanently ban his abuser from Instagram is "disgusting".

The British Asian attacking midfielder received racist abuse via Instagram following the Swans' FA Cup loss to Manchester City on Wednesday 10 February.

Facebook, the company that owns Instagram, temporarily blocked the account responsible from sending messages.

Swansea star Dhanda branded social media companies "selfish" for not doing more to remove abusers from their sites.

Swansea City were beaten 3 - 1 in their FA Cup game against Manchester. Credit: PA Images

Speaking to journalists on Thursday, Dhanda said he was "angry" about Facebook's decision not to do more to stop the account from sending abuse in the future.

The account was temporarily restricted but not shut down completely.

Dhanda said: "It didn't just affect me, it hurt my family to know that next to nothing was being done about it."

In a statement, Facebook said: "We don't want racism and hate on our platforms.

"The person who sent this message has been restricted from sending messages on Instagram for a set period of time and we will remove new accounts created to get around this restriction.

"We think it is important people have the opportunity to learn from their mistakes but if they continue to break our rules, this account will be removed."

Dhanda said: "It's disgusting really. I don't understand why people deserve a second chance.

"If you go out in the street and shoot someone you don't get a second chance to go out in the street and do it again, so it's bad how he's getting a second chance to hurt someone again."

The 22-year-old also criticised the fact that no one from the social media company has contacted him.

"When the punishment came out for the person who abused me and I saw it on Twitter, I immediately responded with how I felt," he said.

"I put a comment on there about the social media companies adding fuel to the hate and allowing people to get away with it, and potentially do it again.

"I haven't had conversations with the social media companies, but that reply to that and my tweet was hoping that they would see it and we could get the ball rolling from there really.

"If they put themselves in my shoes and the way it affected me, immediately there should be alarm bells ringing, and they should want to speak and they should want to come up with a solution to help stop this.

"But for them not to do that, it just proved they're not too bothered about the victims' feelings or whatever's happening."

Both Swansea City and Manchester City said they were appalled at the abuse and Dhanda's club said they were "shocked and surprised by the leniency shown by Facebook".

The UK’s largest anti-racism educational charity said racism seen in the game reflects what is happening in wider society.

Sunil Patel from Show Racism the Red Card said: "Football seems to attract more racism it seems than other sports. What happens in a football match is what's happening in our society.

"In our work we've come across children as young as six years old dealing with racism and I think it's important to understand the mental effect it has on people. This is trauma."

Mr Patel highlighted the long-term impact on a person's wellbeing that racist abuse can have. Credit: ITV Wales

Dhanda said he was initially upset when he received the abusive message.

"It did affect me more than I expected," he said.

"I wasn't my normal self at training the next day, I was shocked and upset, and a bit reserved.

"But with the support of my family and everyone at Swansea, I was able to get back to normal.

"I don't know how cool I could be if I actually sat down with the person who sent the abuse. I don't think it would be a conversation really.

"If I did have to sit down with them, I would just let them know that these people they are abusing, they are actually humans too.

"For me, the abuse, I do use it as fuel to make me work harder, and prove these people wrong.

"It's to try to get one over on them and keep doing what I'm doing on the pitch, and just to keep playing with a smile on my face."