Eni Aluko deletes Twitter account and encourages others to follow to tackle online abuse

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Former England player Eni Aluko has deleted her Twitter account in response to the brutal racist abuse aimed at Marcus Rashford, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho.

England's defeat against Italy in the Euro 2020 Final on Sunday has been marred by horrific racial abuse suffered by three England players.

Sancho, Saka and Rashford all stepped up to take penalties in the shootout against Italy, after Harry Kane and Harry Maguire had scored their two spot-kicks.

Unfortunately, Rashford put his into the post and Gianluigi Donnarumma saved from both Saka and Sancho to give Italy the win.

Afterwards, however, the three players who missed penalties all received torrents of abuse, leading to calls for social media accounts to implement stronger punishments for racial abuse.

Eni Aluko deleted her Twitter account in response to vile racist abuse directed at three England players this week

Aluko has now joined Thierry Henry in boycotting Twitter, claiming it's hypocritical to criticise the platform and continue to use it.

She wrote in her final Tweet: "Right. Rather than tweeting, I'm going to act. This account will now be deleted.

"I encourage people who are serious about online abuse and racism to do the same. We cannot exist on the very platform we are standing against."

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Aluko, who was recently appointed as sporting director at new National Women's Soccer League team Angel FC, deleted her twitter account minutes after posting the farewell message.

Her actions echo those of Arsenal icon Thierry Henry, who removed his social media accounts earlier in the year. The former Montreal Impact head coach vowed to stay away from social media until action was taken to combat online hate.

He said at the time: "The sheer volume of racism, bullying and resulting mental torture to individuals is too toxic to ignore. There HAS to be some accountability.

Eni Aluko recently became sporting director at Angel FC

"It is far too easy to create an account, use it to bully and harass without any consequence and still remain anonymous. Until this changes, I will be disabling my accounts across all social platforms. I’m hoping this happens soon.”

A petition calling for social media accounts to require ID in order to open up accounts has gained momentum in the aftermath of England's defeat.

Nearly 600,000 people have signed a petition calling for it to become a legal requirement to have verified ID to open up an account.

Before she deactivated her account, Aluko called for all those posting racial messages to be arrested.

She also alluded to her impending Twitter deactivation by stressing that it isn't enough to simply tweet out condemnation when players receive racist abuse.

She wrote: "Tweeting condemnation is a given and not enough unfortunately. All of these racists need to be found and arrested – and can be found and arrested."

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