London: UK police officals have launched an investigation into allegations of online racist abuse following England`s defeat to Italy during the Euro 2012 quarter-final match on Sunday.
It is alleged black players Ashley Cole and Ashley Young were singled out by a Twitter user after they missed their penalties against Italy.
“We are aware of alleged racist comments on Twitter following last night`s England game and have launched an investigation. The allegation was made by a member of the public relating to comments on a Twitter account supposedly based in London,” the BBC quoted a Metropolitan Police spokesman, as saying.
“The Metropolitan Police Service is examining possible offences under Section 18/19 Public Order Act 1986,” the spokesman added.
In one post the tweeter wrote: “All I got to say is this was just a joke, you guys need to relax, police know i was kiddin around and they won`t bother me hopefully, cheers.”
The Football Association (FA) has called the attacks “appalling and unacceptable”.
“We are concerned at the reports regarding allegations of abuse aimed at England players Ashley Cole and Ashley Young on Twitter,” a FA spokesman said.
"They have just given everything for the national team at Euro 2012 and it is appalling and unacceptable that messages of an abusive type are being posted. We support any police investigation in identifying who is behind this,” a FA spokesman said.