The Football Association has called on the police and social media companies to help shut down online abuse after England and Chelsea Women midfielder Karen Carney was subjected to sickening threats.
England Women manager Phil Neville shone a light on the abuse 133-cap international Carney had received, sharing an Instagram post which wished “cancer, leukaemia and rape” on her.
The abuse came in the wake of Chelsea’s Champions League win over Fiorentina on Wednesday – Carney scoring the only goal of the game from an early penalty – with Neville writing: “A message sent to one of my @lionesses players last night, absolutely disgraceful”. He went on to ask Instagram: “Are you going to do something about it?”
The FA is backing Neville and has demanded action.
“We are appalled and dismayed by the abuse directed towards Karen Carney on social media,” a statement given to the Press Association read.
“The FA takes such matters extremely seriously and we are offering our full support to Karen. The abuse of players on social networking sites is a serious concern and we call on the police and social media organisations to do everything they can to help tackle this growing problem.
“We provide all our senior England players with training, guidance and support on the use of social media and treat our duty of care in this regard with the utmost importance.”
For its part, Instagram told the Press Association that the account responsible for the messages had been removed as the company does not “tolerate threatening or abusive behaviour”.