EURO 2020 Final: Hostile powers not behind racist attacks on football players, says UK spy chief

Deflecting blame for this phenomenon of racism abroad would result in not owning the problem that is within the country, the MI5 chief said.

Stand Up to Racism Demonstration at the Marcus Rashford mural after it was defaced following the Euro 2020 final between Italy and England.   -  REUTERS

Britain's top domestic spymaster said on Wednesday there was little evidence that hostile powers such as Russia or China were behind the racist abuse meted out to black football players on England's team which lost the Euro 2020 final.

The Premier League's data from its monitoring of abuse against players has shown that around 70% of cases involve abuse coming from social media users outside of the United Kingdom, a league source told Reuters on Tuesday.

READ: EURO 2020 final: Man arrested over online racist abuse of England players

"Much of that kind of racist abuse that is out there is not itself the particular form of targeted state-led disinformation that would directly be a professional concern for my organisation," Security Service (MI5) Director General Ken McCallum told reporters.

"If we were to find ourselves overly looking to blame abroad for this phenomenon of racism, we might risk not owning a portion of the problem that is ours within our own country," McCallum said.

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