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Liverpool condemn 'abhorrent racial abuse' of players in strong statement

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Liverpool have moved to condemn the "abhorrent racial abuse" suffered by players on social media.

Both Trent Alexander-Arnold and Naby Keita were targeted by some online in the wake of their 3-1 defeat to Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday night.

Keita's evening was over shortly before the half-time whistle when he was substituted for Thiago Alcantara, while a misplaced header from Alexander-Arnold led to Madrid's second goal at the Di Stefano Stadium.

It was reported on Wednesday morning that both players were racially abused on their Instagram pages following the result.

Liverpool have now released a statement urging the social media platforms to take stronger action.

A club statement read: "Once again we are sadly discussing abhorrent racial abuse the morning after a football game.

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"It is utterly unacceptable and it has to stop.

"LFC condemns all forms of discrimination and we continue to work with our inclusion partners through our Red Together initiative to campaign against it."

Liverpool said they would offer their players all the support needed following the incidents online, but steered clear of naming Alexander-Arnold and Keita specifically.

It added: "As a club, we will offer our players any and all support that they may require.

"We will also work with the relevant authorities to identify and, if possible, prosecute those responsible.

"We know that this will not be enough until the strongest possible preventative measures are taken by social media platforms and the regulatory bodies which govern them.

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"The current situation cannot be allowed to continue and it is incumbent on all of us to ensure that it does not."

The incidents are just the latest in a long list of similar stories involving high-profile footballers this season.

Earlier this year, Manchester United players Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial were abused following a defeat to Sheffield United.

Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha was subjected to racism from a 12-year-old boy in October while Brentford's Ivan Toney was targeted on two separate occasions this season.

For more news relating to Manchester United, visit our sister site MUFC Live.

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