Manchester United condemn online racist abuse of Pogba after penalty miss
Manchester United are working on identifying individuals who racially abused Paul Pogba online after the midfielder missed a penalty in Monday night’s 1-1 draw at Wolverhampton Wanderers.
Pogba won a late penalty but had his effort from the spot saved by Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio. The draw cost United top spot in the Premier League standings, leading to a handful of supporters racially abusing the Frenchman.
“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,” United said in a statement.
“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.”
Defender Harry Maguire termed the abuse “disgusting” and called on social media companies to verify user accounts to prevent supporters from abusing players anonymously.
“Social media need to do something about it,” Maguire said in a tweet. “Every account that is opened should be verified by a passport/driving licence. Stop these pathetic trolls making numerous accounts to abuse people.”
Forward Marcus Rashford also stood in solidarity with his teammate.
“Manchester United is a family,” he said in a tweet. “Paul Pogba is a huge part of that family. You attack him you attack us all.”
Last week Chelsea boss Frank Lampard also urged social media companies to take stricter action after 21-year-old striker Tammy Abraham was the target of racist abuse after his missed penalty in the Uefa Super Cup loss to Liverpool.
Meanwhile, thousands of Wolves supporters howled a well-known four-letter word at VAR while their team’s manager pleaded for a solution to prevent the video review system sucking the passion out of Premier League football.
Making its debut in the English top flight this season, the video assistant referee system deprived Wolves of a goal against Leicester City in their opening 0-0 away draw.
The Molineux faithful made their disparaging views on VAR abundantly clear during a heart-stopping couple of minutes in Monday’s game when play was stopped to check on Ruben Neves’ second-half equaliser.
Though the goal was allowed, and a possible offside by Joao Moutinho discounted, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo still fretted afterwards that VAR was killing the game’s passion.
“What I’m afraid is we will be afraid to celebrate the goal,” he said.
“This energy at Molineux, the sound, this atmosphere, you cannot lose it. They have to find a solution for it, please do it.”
United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said a VAR review had been justified for Neves’ goal, but the process should be faster.
“We want it decided quickly but, of course, they are massive decisions,” he said. “I’d rather have it the correct one than the wrong one, and make it in 15 seconds. The quicker it goes, the better it goes.”