FIFA has established a new social media protection service aimed at preventing players from the 32 competing teams at the World Cup from being inundated with hateful social media posts following matches.
According to FIFA, the service will prevent players from seeing abusive messages when they use their phones in the locker rooms after games.
FIFA has established a new social media protection service aimed at preventing players from the 32 competing teams at the World Cup from being inundated with hateful posts following matches. In this 2020 photo, Giorgio Chiellini of Italy wears his winners medal as he uses his phone in the tunnel following his team’s victory in the UEFA Euro 2020 Championship Final
The campaign against hateful messages is being led by Brazil’s Willian, a 34-year-old midfielder for Fulham, who says he’s been targeted by angry fans in the past
‘I am supporting this campaign because I was in Brazil a year ago, and I was suffering a lot, and my family were suffering a lot because people started attacking us on social media, attacking my family, my daughters, and that’s why I’m standing now with FIFA to see if you can stop these kind of things that make me feel, sometimes, sad,’ Willian said in a press release.
Players from all 32 teams will have access to the service, which FIFA claims can instantly block ‘abusive, discriminatory and threatening comments’ on social media platforms.
‘I think it will help a lot, for sure, because some players look at it and they don’t care,’ said FIFA president Gianni Infantino. ‘Some of them look and start being sad, they start to change, the player’s performance starts to go down because of this situation. So, I think it will help a lot.
The campaign appears particularly prescient in the wake of the racist abuse being suffered by France’s Eduardo Camavinga (left), who has been targeted following a training mishap that resulted in a teammate being injured
A fan posted vile racist abuse of Camavinga in a reply to a video of his mis-timed tackle
The campaign appears particularly prescient in the wake of the racist abuse being suffered by France’s Eduardo Camavinga, who has been targeted following a training mishap that resulted in a teammate being injured.
France was taking part in a final training session before the tournament at their Clairefontaine base on Tuesday, when Camavinga lunged in with a mistimed challenge on RB Leipzig’s Christopher Nkunku, who has been ruled out for the World Cup.
One person responded to the incident on Twitter by calling the 20-year Camavinga a ‘sale singe,’ which translates to ‘dirty monkey.’
‘I think you have to be strong, you have to be mentally strong, because otherwise it’s going to kill you,’ Willian said in the press release. ‘I think you have to [get] support from your family, from your friends and the people that love you. It doesn’t matter if you play [well] or if you play [badly], if you have a good result or not, you have to stay with these people [who] will be with you all the way. But if you don’t have a good mentality, [if you’re not] mentally strong, some players can start to play bad or not get what they want on the pitch, so that’s why.’
Two England fans look at a smartphone as they wait for the start of the UEFA Women’s Euro 2022 Group A football match between Northern Ireland and England at St Mary’s Stadium