Man, 50, arrested for ‘inciting racial hatred’ after tweet sent to Marcus Rashford

Rashford was targeted with abuse after the final loss (Image: POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

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A man has been arrested on suspicion of inciting racial hatred after allegedly sending a bigoted tweet to Marcus Rashford.

The England striker, 23, was targeted with online abuse after missing a penalty during the Euro 2020 final loss to Italy on Sunday.

One message sent on Twitter said Rashford's MBE "needs burning ya fake", while another read: "Pack them bags and get to ya own country".

The Manchester United ace was given an MBE last year for services to vulnerable children across the nation.

West Mercia Police said on Tuesday that a man, 50, had been arrested following reports of an inappropriate tweet.

The forced added that the suspect, from Powick, near Worcester, had been detained on suspicion of inciting racial hatred.

Do you know the person responsible? Email [email protected]

Rashford was targeted with abuse after the game
(Image: Twitter)

It is believed that the messages were sent from an account belonging to a children's football coach.

The man behind that account has since claimed he was hacked.

Police said the man, who has not been named by authorities, has been released under investigation.

Inspector Pete Nightingale added: "We encourage people to make these reports and are pleased with the speed at which we have been able to deal with this incident.

"We continue to work with the local football community and have links with the local clubs to ensure that this behaviour is dealt with appropriately."

Gareth Southgate described the racist online abuse directed at some of England's players after the defeat to Italy as "unforgivable".

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Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho – as well as Rashford – were all targeted by abusive posts in the wake of their missed spot-kicks.

Figures within the sport, from the Government and even the Duke of Cambridge were united in their condemnation for the abuse, and Southgate said: "For some of them to be abused is unforgivable really."

The Duke of Cambridge, who is president of the Football Association, said he was "sickened" by the abuse.

"It is totally unacceptable that players have to endure this abhorrent behaviour," he wrote on Twitter.

"It must stop now and all those involved should be held accountable."

A Rashford mural has been covered in touching messages
(Image: REUTERS)

Twitter said it had proactively removed more than 1,000 posts over the past 24 hours which violated its policy and also taken swift action to permanently suspend a number of accounts.

A mural in Rashford's native Manchester was also tarnished in the wake of the final.

But it has since become a rallying point for people hitting out at racism, with hundreds of touching messages left in recent days.

Rashford himself released a statement on social media on Tuesday, two days after the final.

He said: "The communities that always had me wrapped their arms around me continue to hold me up.

"I'm Marcus Rashford, 23 year old, black man from Withington and Wythenshawe, South Manchester. If I have nothing else I have that.

"For all the kind messages, thank you. I'll be back stronger. We'll be back stronger."

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