Arsenal respond to racial abuse towards Granit Xhaka from season-ticket holders

Arsenal have responded to the racist abuse received by midfielder Granit Xhaka from the club’s own season-ticket holders.

A study has revealed that the Swiss international was targeted in December by accounts who “self-identify as Arsenal season-ticket holders”.

It came after the 28-year-old picked up a red card in the 1-0 home defeat to Burnley, which put the north London side on a run of five Premier League games without a win.

And the club have now responded to the study, promising the “strongest possible action” against the supporters.

Speaking to Sky Sports News , a spokesperson said: “We all need to work together to drive online abuse out of our game and off our social networks.

“The effect on individuals can be very deep and we work closely with our players and staff to help them deal with the impact. This includes support from sports psychologists and our social media team.

“As a club, one of the biggest challenges we face is identifying the perpetrators and linking them directly to our season ticket or membership databases.

“When we do have that information, we take the strongest possible action. This includes reporting to the police and membership bans from our club.

“Ultimately we all have to work together to stop the abuse and we fully support the Premier League's recent statement calling on social media platforms to take more action to prevent abuse appearing online, including requiring all users to be subject to a verification process.”

The study was based on more than 100,000 mentions of “Xhaka” over a 30-day period around the loss to Burnley on December 13.

And it detected 1,374 posts “marked as potentially containing abuse”, with 16 instances of targeted racist abuse from accounts identifying as Arsenal season ticket holders.

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  • While six of the 2,004 posts identified expressed a “desire to carry out violence” on the Swiss midfielder.

    Xhaka has not enjoyed the easiest relationship with fans, having sworn at them and told them to “f*** off” during a game against Crystal Palace in October 2019.

    But the latest incident saw the 28-year-old slam Manchester United legend Patrice Evra for “provoking online abuse”.

    The Frenchman ripped into the midfielder for his red card in December, which the Arsenal star argued “invite that wave of social media criticism”.

    READ MORE:Premier League chief Richard Masters 'appalled' by racism aimed at stars on social media

    READ MORE:Anthony Martial again targeted by vile racist abuse after Man Utd's West Brom draw

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