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More than half of all players at the finals of last year’s European Championship and Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) were subjected to some form of discriminatory abuse online, a report published by global soccer governing body FIFA has revealed.

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The independent report used artificial intelligence to track over 400,000 posts on social media platforms during the semi-final and final stages of the two competitions and found the majority of abuse to be anti-gay (40%) and racist (38%) fifa world cup live stream

It added that much of the abuse came from players’ home nations and took place before, during and after games.

England’s Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka, who are Black, were bombarded with online abuse after missing their spot-kicks in a shootout against Italy which settled the July 11 European Championship final after the game finished in a draw.

The report said a substitute player from Egypt was the most abused player at the AFCON finals this year.

“Our duty is to protect football and that starts with the players who bring so much joy and happiness to all of us by their exploits on the field of play,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement on Saturday.

“Unfortunately, there is a trend developing where a percentage of posts on social media channels directed towards players, coaches, match officials and the teams themselves is not acceptable, and this form of discrimination — like any form of discrimination — has no place in football.”

The report added that the abuse on Twitter was constant across the period of its study while Instagram abuse was “event driven” — like losing a final — and more than 75% of comments on the platform included emojis.

Reuters has contacted Twitter and Instagram for comment.

Ahead of the World Cup starting in Qatar in November, FIFA said it would work with players’ body FIFPRO to implement a plan to protect teams, players, officials, and supporters from abuse on social media during international tournaments.

The two bodies will launch moderation tools and offer educational support and mental health advice to players at FIFA tournaments.

 

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The WSL’s biggest transfers of the window so far: Bronze, Buchanan, Castellanos and more

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Lucy Bronze speaks about joining Barcelona on a free transfer after leaving Man City. (0:57)

The Women’s Super League (WSL) transfer window might have only officially opened on Friday but already there have been some big moves in and out of the league.

Such is the nature of women’s football, massive sums of money aren’t always on the table with many players taking short-term contracts with clubs and then moving on when their deal ends. However, the money involved in transfers is trending upward.

In 2020, spending on women’s football transfers surpassed $1 million for the first time ever and rose to $2.1m in 2021. FIFA revealed in February that only 21 of the 257 moves made during the January transfer window involved a fee but that spending on those few was up 57.3% from the previous year.

The WSL were the biggest spenders in the 2022 January window with their transfer business totaling $254,200 on 20 transfers. Meanwhile, Spanish clubs spent $105,000 on 46 international transfers.

So, with the summer transfer window here and some big players looking for new adventures, here are the best transfers that have already happened in the WSL and what to look out for over the next few months.

Lucy Bronze, RB, Man City to Barcelona

With Bronze’s contract up this summer, there had been a lot of speculation about whether she would stay at City or move on. It became apparent early on that her time with City was numbered, but there wasn’t even a hint that Barcelona would be where she ended up. It is rare in women’s football for a transfer to happen without a single whisper of the end destination, but that was exactly the case here. For most of the time, it seemed like she was headed to the National Women’s Soccer League (NWSL) in the U.S.

After losing the Champions League final 3-1 in spectacular fashion to Lyon, it has already become apparent that Barca is planning their revenge, and they have made a statement by signing the England international right-back. While injury has hampered her last season, she is still an incredibly formidable defender and has the experience of winning the Champions League three times with Lyon. While Barca only conceded 23 goals last season, Bronze will bring a new level of success and experience to the side.

Kadeisha Buchanan, CB, Lyon to Chelsea

The Canada international was one of the most exciting prospects on clubs’ transfer radars this summer. With her contract with Lyon coming to an end, the Champions League winners were eager to keep her, but she was looking for a new challenge. After the deal, her agents described her on social media as someone always looking for a challenge and not afraid to step outside her comfort zone.

On the pitch, Chelsea is getting a 26-year-old defender at the peak of her career who could have gone to any club across Europe if she wanted. When she first exited the U.S. college system, a lot of her game was based on how dominant and physical she was on the ball, but her time in France has brought a new technical element to her game, which has helped make her one of the best central defenders in the world.

Deyna Castellanos, FW, Atletico Madrid to Man City

Manchester City fans would have been within their rights to feel a little worried toward the end of the season as it became apparent that some of their biggest names would be moving on — Bronze, Karen Bardsley, Jill Scott, Georgia Stanway, and Caroline Weir among them — but the club has already been incredibly active in the transfer window with Castellanos the first big-name they brought in.

Having spent just two seasons in Spain, the forward made 71 appearances and scored 26 goals. Internationally, she captains Venezuela — at just 23 — and has 12 goals from 25 games. In 2017, she was shortlisted for FIFA’s Best Women’s Player of the Year beside global stars Lieke Martens and Carli Lloyd.

Despite City’s exodus, she will have competition in the squad as to where she will play, with striker and winger her preferred positions. Ellen White, Chloe Kelly, and Lauren Hemp are all regular City starters, but Castellanos could give them a run for their money or play deeper in midfield where she impressed during college.

Lisa Evans, RB, Arsenal to West Ham

After spending last season on loan at West Ham and with her contract expiring this summer, there were few who thought Evans would be returning to the north London club. She joined Arsenal in 2017 from Bayern Munich and was a firm fans’ favorite. Starting out as a right-winger, she moved to right-back when Alex Scott retired and was known for scampering up the wing into forwarding positions.

After falling down the pecking order at Arsenal, though, she went out on loan, and it was a smart piece of business by West Ham to secure her on a more permanent basis. While injuries held her back, she did still make 16 appearances and secured one goal and three assists. As West Ham looks to put more pressure on the top-five teams, she is exactly the sort of experienced player who will benefit them.

Laia Aleixandri, CB/RB, Atletico Madrid to Man City

The Spanish takeover at City continued with Aleixandre who was undoubtedly brought in to bolster Gareth Taylor’s defensive options after losing Bronze. The 21-year-old can play at either center-half or right-back and has the advantage of joining with Castellanos with whom she played at Atletico Madrid.

In 2020, Aleixandre was named by UEFA as one of the most promising young players in Europe, and it will be interesting to see how City uses her in the next stage of her career. She will have plenty of experience around her at City to help her develop her obvious talent, but it will also be interesting to see how she makes her mark with a serious redevelopment of the squad underway. There will be plenty of room to cement a spot in the starting XI.

Eve Perisset, CM, Bordeaux to Chelsea

After the turbulence and uncertainty of the Chelsea takeover, Perisset was the first player the club brought in and while she isn’t necessarily a household name, she is the sort of reliable player that Chelsea will benefit from next season. One of the top defenders in Division 1 Feminine, she has also long been an important cog in the France national side.

Following the departure of Jonna Andersson, manager Emma Hayes needed to add some more experience to her defence. Perisset is fast, and her vision and decision-making should make her fit the Chelsea mould quite well. While Chelsea’s midfield is probably one of the strongest in the league, Perisset also offers another option there as she is happier to play higher up the pitch. With Champions League glory firmly in Chelsea’s sights after the disappointment of their early departure this season, Hayes will be hoping that Perisset’s experience will give them an edge.

The eight stadiums constructed to host the 2022 World Cup in Qatar would almost squeeze within the boundaries of Greater London.

On the face of it, one environmental advantage of the Qatar World Cup compared to previous tournaments is the short hops between stadiums, which negates the need for air travel once the first whistle blows on November 21.

But even so, a scathing new report has raised concerns over the pledge from FIFA and Qatar to deliver the first-ever carbon-neutral World Cup.