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Tackling online abuse at UEFA EURO 2024: First insights from group stage

Discrimination should never be accepted, whether in football or society, in person or online.

A total of 4’656 posts across social media platforms have been flagged for review in the group stage
A total of 4’656 posts across social media platforms have been flagged for review in the group stage UEFA via Getty Images

UEFA believes that we all play a role in making sure that football is welcoming for all.

In the online space, UEFA has developed an online abuse programme, aiming to monitor, report and remedy cases happening during all UEFA finals and final tournaments, including in the youth categories. The programme, launched at the Women’s EURO 2022, runs until the Women’s EURO 2025 in Switzerland.

At the UEFA EURO 2024 in Germany, the programme is actively monitoring the 622 social media platforms and accounts of all the individuals involved in the tournament. This includes players, coaches and participating national team accounts.

“As part of our Environmental, Social and Governance Strategy for the tournament, we believe it is key to protect and support players, coaches, and referees in tackling their exposure to online abuse. They should be able to focus on their performance on the pitch, and not be weighed down by unacceptable abuse directed at them online. We thank our social media platform partners for their proactive approach and look forward to the continued collaboration with them.”

Michele Uva, UEFA Director of Social and Environmental Sustainability

As the group stage has now ended, a first interim summary is presented below:

A total of 4,656 posts across social media platforms have been flagged for review in the group stage. These posts came from 4,070 individual accounts. Of these, 308 (7%) posts were eligible to be reported directly to the social media platforms for further action.

71% of these abusive posts have been actioned by the platforms.

Reported posts were removed promptly after an average of 75 minutes.

The teams most affected so far have been Belgium, Croatia, Ukraine and Netherlands.

74% of flagged posts were directed at individual players, 15% were directed at coaches, 7% targeted team accounts, and 4% targeted referees.

Targets of reported abuse (%)
Targets of reported abuse (%)

The monitoring of Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and X in the group phase has highlighted the types of abuse that players, coaches, officials, and other accounts are being subjected to.

Some 94% of flagged posts were for generalised abuse, which includes abuse which is not specifically targeted at a group or community. In addition to this, 4.5% featured racist abuse, and 1.5% featured homophobic abuse.

Types of abuse reported (%)
Types of abuse reported (%)

After each match, the results are shared with the National Associations of the teams involved, enabling them to take further action by reporting abusive content to the German law enforcement authorities.

The online abuse programme will continue to run across the next stages of UEFA EURO 2024, with a full report to be shared at the end of the tournament.

We strongly encourage everyone to join the fight against online abuse by reporting any abusive or discriminatory content to the respective social media platforms. Victims of online abuse or hate speech who are struggling with self-harm or suicidal thoughts should seek support from medical professionals. If online threats or comments cause fear for personal safety, contacting the police is advised.

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