Manchester United have condemned the racist abuse directed at midfielder Paul Pogba following his penalty miss against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday.
The club have moved to defend the midfielder following a number of derogatory posts directed at him on social media.
"Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse aimed at Paul Pogba last night and we utterly condemn it," read a club statement.
"The individuals who expressed these views do not represent the values of our great club and it is encouraging to see the vast majority of our fans condemn this on social media also.
"Manchester United has zero tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaigning against it through our #AllRedAllEqual initiative.
"We will work to identify the few involved in these incidents and take the strongest course of action available to us. We also encourage social media companies to take action in these cases."
Pogba becomes the third high profile player in the matter of days to be targeted on social media after similar incidents involving Chelsea’s Tammy Abraham and Reading’s Yakou Meite.
Chelsea condemned the ‘abhorrent’ posts aimed at 21-year-old forward Abraham following his penalty miss against in the UEFA Super Cup shootout against Liverpool, while Reading leaped to the support of Meite, refusing to ‘give oxygen’ to comments directed at their Ivorian striker.
Anti-racism organisation Kick It Out also released a statement following the latest spate of abuse.
“The latest round of fixtures have again seen unwarranted and vile racist abuse sent to players,” They wrote. “This time, Reading’s Yakou Méïté and Manchester United’s Paul Pogba.
“The number of posts such as these since the start of the season further highlights how discriminatory abuse online is out of control.
“Without immediate and the strongest possible action these cowardly acts will continue to grow.
“As always, we have contacted the respective clubs to offer support to those affected.”
Pogba’s 67th minute penalty kick was saved by Wolves keeper Rui Patricio, missing the opportunity to put United 2-1 up and potentially win the match.
The game ended 1-1, with Ole Gunnar’s Solskjaer’s team failing to take an advantage of their chance to go top of the Premier League.
Following the miss, a number of racist tweets were reportedly aimed at the Frenchman, although many have since been deleted and some accounts taken down.
Disgusting. Social media need to do something about it... Every account that is opened should be verified by a passport/driving licence. Stop these pathetic trolls making numerous accounts to abuse people. @Twitter @instagram https://t.co/bzow073aTw
— Harry Maguire (@HarryMaguire93) August 20, 2019
Teammate Harry Maguire leapt to the defence of his teammate, demanding social media companies do more to identify abusers.
Meanwhile, Marcus Rashford said any attack on a United player would be felt by the entire squad.
— Marcus Rashford (@MarcusRashford) August 20, 2019
Speaking after the incident involving Abraham last week, Chelsea manager Frank Lampard also criticised the online companies for failing to take enough action to prevent abuse.
"I don't know how it's allowed on the [social media] platforms,” he complained, “It's too easy, so something needs to be done.”
Fare, the network set up to counter discrimination in European football, joined the criticism of the likes of Twitter for failing to do more about discrimination on its platforms:
“Social networks such as Twitter continue to shirk their responsibilities when it comes to monitoring and preventing online abuse. It is all too easy for individuals to tweet hate speech with impunity.
“The measures being taken by the platforms are simply not effective, they need to do much more.
“Fare stands in solidarity with Paul Pogba, Yakou Meite, Tammy Abraham and other victims of racial abuse online.”
The Premier League is yet to respond to Yahoo Sport UK’s request for comment.
The EFL yesterday declined to comment when asked about the abuse received by Meite.