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Portsmouth release academy pla...
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Portsmouth release academy players over racist messages in group chat

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

05:57 29 Jul 2021

Portsmouth have released three academy players after it was determined that they had racially abused Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka. 

The three England footballers who missed penalties in the EURO 2020 final shoot-out with Italy earlier this month, the racist messaging came from three member of the club's U18 squad.

Portsmouth began investigating the incident after images appeared on social media of the private conversation that was taking place in the group chat.

This sparked disciplinary proceedings and the League One club ultimately opted to cut the three players loose from their contracts with the club.

Portsmouth England's Marcus Rashford stands dejected after missing his penalty during the UEFA Euro 2020 final | PA Images

The club's owner, Michael Eisner, took to Twitter with his response to the images.

"There is no place for hatred or bigotry of any kind at Portsmouth FC or any other organization with which I’m affiliated," he wrote.

"We won’t tolerate it, and there will be appropriate consequences for anyone who engages in racist behavior in social media or elsewhere."

Furthermore, a statement released by Portsmouth went into further detail about the club's decision to part company with the three players in question.

"We can confirm that a decision has been made today to release three players from the academy," the club's statement read. "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.

"We are part of a diverse community and are dedicated to promoting an environment of equality and inclusion at all times — both inside the football club and in our wider society.

"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."

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Arsenal Bukayo Saka England Euro 2020 European Championships Jadon Sancho Manchester United Marcus Rashford Portsmouth

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