UK spy chief: hostile powers not behind racist attacks on soccer

by Reuters
Wednesday, 14 July 2021 16:00 GMT

LONDON, July 14 (Reuters) - Britain's top domestic spymaster said on Wednesday that there was little evidence that hostile powers such as Russia or China were behind the racist abuse meted out to Black soccer players on England's team which lost the Euro 2020 final.

The Premier League's data from their monitoring of abuse against players has shown that around 70% of cases involve abuse coming from social media users outside of the United Kingdom, a league source told Reuters on Tuesday.

"Much of that kind of racist abuse that is out there is not itself the particular form of targetted state-led disinformation that would directly be a professional concern for my organisation," Security Service (MI5) Director General Ken McCallum told reporters.

"If we were to find ourselves overly looking to blame abroad for this phenomenon of racism, we might risk not owning a portion of the problem that is ours within our own country," McCallum said. (Reporting by Guy Faulconbridge; editing by Michael Holden)

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