Champions League: Man City's Sterling, Walker racially abused after final loss

The report said the two players were sent monkey emojis on their Instagram pages after the game.

Sterling was also targeted following City's semifinal win over Paris St Germain.   -  REUTERS

Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling and defender Kyle Walker were racially abused on Instagram following the team's 1-0 defeat by Chelsea in Saturday's Champions League final, Sky Sports reported.

The report said the two players were sent monkey emojis on their Instagram pages after the game.

Sterling was also targeted following City's semifinal win over Paris St Germain, shortly after English football's social media boycott campaign came to an end earlier this month.

Several players at Premier League clubs have been targeted in the past few months, including United's Anthony Martial, Liverpool's Trent-Alexander Arnold and Sadio Mane and Chelsea's Reece James.

"The racist abuse sent to these players last night is abhorrent and we don't want it on Instagram," a representative of Facebook, which owns Instagram, said in a statement on Sunday.

"We swiftly removed a number of comments and accounts for breaking our rules and we're continuing to review and take action against those that violate our policies."

It added that: "No single thing will fix this challenge overnight but we're committed to doing what we can to keep our community safe from abuse."

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Manchester United forward Marcus Rashford said that he had been subjected to "at least 70 racial slurs" on social media after Wednesday's defeat by Villarreal in the Europa League final.

In February, English football bodies sent an open letter to Facebook and Twitter, urging blocking and swift takedowns of offensive posts, as well as an improved verification process for users.

Instagram has announced new measures and Twitter vowed to continue its efforts after taking action on over 700 cases of abuse related to football in Britain in 2019.

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