Blues head coach Maurizio Sarri became the latest person to condemn the social media abuse directed towards Chelsea Women midfielder Karen Carney.
Sarri has joined England Women manager Phil Neville and the Football Association in supporting Carney, who was subjected to vile threats online, including an Instagram post that wished “leukaemia, cancer and rape” on the midfielder.
Quizzed about the issue at Friday’s press conference, Sarri mentioned of having caught a glimpse of Chelsea Women’s match against Fiorentina before showering praise on the 31-year-old skipper.
“I watched the last match against Fiorentina. She’s a very good midfielder, I think. She scored,” said the ex-Napoli manager, before going on to quickly blast the abuse Carney was subjected to. “About the situation, what can I say? It is not acceptable. It’s disgusting,” added Sarri.
The 31-year-old Carney scored the deciding penalty against Fiorentina in their Women’s Champions League match on Wednesday.
Her national team manager, Neville, highlighted the online abuse Carney, capped 133 times by England, received on social media. The Lionesses’ manager asked Instagram in a post on Thursday if they are going to do something about it. On Friday, Neville shared another post revealing abuse directed at an unnamed England Women player before calling on Instagram to do a better job at protecting his players who utilise the social media platform.
The FA has also declared their support for Neville and has demanded action. “We are appalled and dismayed by the abuse directed towards Karen Carney on social media,” read a statement by the FA on Thursday.
“The FA takes such matters extremely seriously and we are offering our full support to Karen. The abuse of players on social networking sites is a serious concern and we call on the police and social media organisations to do everything they can to help tackle this growing problem.
“We provide all our senior England players with training, guidance and support on the use of social media and treat our duty of care in this regard with the utmost importance.”
Instagram has since removed the account responsible for the initial messages, with the company saying it does not “tolerate threatening or abusive behaviour”.