A 15-year-old boy from Kent has been placed on an educational support programme after racially abusing Swansea City player Yan Dhanda on social media.
Dhanda, 22, who is of British Asian background, was abused on social media following Swansea’s FA Cup loss to Manchester City on 10 February.
The account which sent the abusive message was traced to an address in Dartford.
The boy admitted sending the abuse.
“In May 2021, Kent Police received a referral from South Wales Police relating to offensive messages reported to have been sent to a man on social media,” a Kent Police spokesperson said.
“The messages had been linked to an address in Dartford, and following further enquiries a 14-year-old boy attended a police station for a non-custodial interview on Thursday, 9 September.
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“The boy, who is now 15, admitted an offence under the Malicious Communications Act and the case was discussed at a Youth Justice Multi-Agency Panel meeting on Tuesday, 26 October.
“As the boy had made a full and frank admission and this was his first offence, it was agreed that a community resolution was the most appropriate and proportionate outcome.
“He therefore agreed to accept educational support to prevent him committing any similar offences in the future.”
The abusive message was sent following Manchester City’s FA Cup fifth-round win at Swansea.
Both clubs condemned what South Wales Police described as a “racially motivated social media post” aimed at former England Under-17 international Dhanda.
Head coach Russell Martin was not at Swansea at the time, but says the club welcome the news that some action has been taken.
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“We have a really strong group of players in that they’ve followed it all of the way through. They have chased it up,” Martin said.
“Grimesy (captain Matt Grimes), on behalf of the players, has met with the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) to make sure something happens and that it doesn’t get dusted under the carpet.
“Education is where it starts I think. Also it’s got to show people that you can’t just write something. There are repercussions, there is a consequence to that.
“I think everyone in the club is pleased it’s been followed through all the way and something’s finally been done about it.
“I hope it has an impact on the 15-year-old kid who sent it and I hope he never goes on to make the same mistake again.”
Facebook said in the immediate aftermath of the incident that the account involved had been temporarily suspended from sending Instagram messages.
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Swansea responded by saying they were “shocked and surprised by the leniency” shown by Facebook.
Dhanda, who has scored five times in 62 appearances since joining Swansea from Liverpool in 2018, was also critical of social media companies.
He said their lack of action was “proving to the racist people they can get away with” sending abusive messages.
Dhanda is one of a number of footballers who have been racially abused online in 2021, with Marcus Rashford, Reece James, Bukayo Saka and Jadon Sancho among the players targeted.
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