Roy Hodgson has spoken out against the racial abuse footballers have received over social media, and says that those responsible must be made to face the consequences.
“It’s abhorrent, that’s the first thing,” he said in his pre-Newcastle United press conference. “It’s so difficult for rational and decent minded human beings to understand. What would provoke someone to do that is very difficult for me to understand.”
Wilfried Zaha has spoken out in the past to highlight the prevalence of racist abuse online, with several Premier League players suffering similar attacks in the last week.
“I would like to think that an answer can be found somewhere along the way,” Hodgson said. “In all of these questions that have been circulating for a while now about racial abuse, I think we always come back to one crucial factor and that’s education.
“I can’t imagine educated people sending out vile racist messages to footballers.”
Hodgson joined calls for social media to provide assistance in tracing offenders, and for proper punishment to be meted out.
“This is an abhorrent aspect of our society that affects us in football, so maybe it’s got to be the social media companies who help us out in some way to stop this, and the police forces helping us find a way that the people who do it are prosecuted.
“At the end of the day, if there’s nothing in terms of punishment, you’re going to be feeling free to continue until such time as it’s not possible for you to do it, or if you do it you face very strict punishment from the police authorities.
“That’s what I’m hoping for. I don’t have an answer, but like every right minded person I’m 100% behind everything that’s going on.”