As Euro 2024 enjoys its first week of high-stakes football, thoughts will have returned to how the last one ended. One of the abiding memories of the Euro 2020 final was the vile racist abuse black English players received following the team’s penalty shootout loss against Italy.

Although the media had reported on online hate and abuse in sport before, this was the first time the issue really caught the public’s attention in terms of widespread condemnation, and was covered comprehensively by the press.

Now, the policesporting and private organisations that are hired to block abusive content are using this summer’s Euros to highlight legislative and technological improvements that can be implemented to help protect the players this time around.

However, the reality is that the abuse received by players in a high-profile match is only the tip of the iceberg of a widespread culture of online abuse that permeates football at all levels, and has significant implications beyond the direct wellbeing of the footballers who receive the abuse.

The above is the beginning of a piece written by TOHIF’s Dr Gary Sinclair for The Conversation. The complete article can be read here