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FA funds police unit to catch those who abuse England players on social media

<span>The FA has committed about £25,000 towards the hunt for social media trolls.</span><span>Photograph: NurPhoto/Getty Images</span>
The FA has committed about £25,000 towards the hunt for social media trolls.Photograph: NurPhoto/Getty Images

The Football Association has funded a special unit within the British police to help them prosecute anyone who abuses England’s players on social media. The governing body has long been committed to passing on the evidence of such instances to the authorities and there has sadly been too much of it.

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But as England prepare for their opening Euro 2024 tie against Serbia on Sunday night, the FA’s chief executive, Mark Bullingham, revealed a new move.

“We obviously talk to the players about this all the time and now we are doing things differently,” Bullingham said. “In the past what we did was put together all the data, effectively an evidence pack, to give to the police to prosecute. But this time we have gone a stage further where we are actually funding a unit within the British police that will then prosecute.

“What we don’t want to do is create a pack that we then give to the police for them to prosecute but they don’t have the resource to actually take that forward. So we are paying for the prosecution to then happen and funding the police to make sure if there are instances of the examples we have seen before, they get prosecuted.”

Bullingham said that the precise funding total would depend on how many prosecutions were brought but the “ballpark figure” was “around £25,000.”