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Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Brentford star Ivan Toney target of more racial abuse online


Brentford striker Ivan Toney has again been subjected to racial abuse on social media, the club said on Wednesday.

In a statement, the club said they are “angered and frustrated” at the abuse and pointed out it’s not the first time Toney has been targeted.

“We are angered and frustrated to report that Ivan Toney has been subjected to racist abuse on Instagram once more,” the statement read.

“We have initiated investigations into this vile harassment which we condemn in the strongest terms.

“Sadly, this isn’t the first time Ivan has had to deal with this. A similar incident occurred just four weeks ago, leading us to identify an alleged perpetrator whom we reported to the authorities.

“To date, we have yet to see any action taken against that individual.”

A man was handed a three-year stadium ban in March last year after he abused Toney on social media. The 27-year-old has been targeted on other occasions as well.

Brentford criticised media companies on Wednesday for their lack of action.

“In general, the response from social media platforms to these ongoing issues has been underwhelming,” the club said.

“Their solutions, such as filters to simply hide the abuse may safeguard the players, but miss the mark entirely and do not discourage the offenders. Without real consequences for those responsible, the cycle is doomed to repeat.

“We do have faith that things can change. We appreciate the dialogue that we have with the likes of Meta but we call for more decisive and urgent action to combat online hate. We call for prompt investigations, and importantly, we call for criminal prosecutions.

“We will continue to work with the authorities and the Premier League and to support our players as we tackle this awful online abuse.”

Toney recently returned from an eight-month ban for breaching betting rules, but Brentford manager Thomas Frank confirmed the English international’s future is likely to be elsewhere.

“It is relatively obvious that Ivan Toney will probably be sold this summer,” Frank told Danish magazine Tipsbladet.

“It can be ‘expensive’ to sell your best player, but conversely I also know that this summer he only has one year left on his contract with us.

“We also know what he is worth. I don’t think there are many strikers in the world who are better than him right now.”

Toney himself has said he plans to play for a “top club” in the future, but Frank confirmed Brentford didn’t receive any offers in January.

“This winter we actually had no offers for him, but it will surprise me if there aren’t a lot of clubs that will be interested in him,” Frank said.

“He is a really skilled striker who is in his prime football age. Personally, as a coach, I would prefer to keep Toney, but one day it could be fun to see him on a top team.”

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