Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 20 September 2019

Paul Pogba vows to use racist insults to 'motivate me to fight for the next generation'

Pogba and Manchester United teammate Rashford part of a growing number of black footballers targeted by social media trolls recently

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has vowed to use the abuse aimed at him on social media to motivate him in the fight against racism.

Pogba was the victim of vile vitriol online comments after seeing his penalty saved in the 1-1 draw against Wolves on Monday while teammate Marcus Rashford suffered the same after his spot-kick hit the post in United's defeat at home to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham and Reading's Yakou Meite were also recently targeted by social media trolls, and Pogba took to Twitter and vowed to play his part in the fight against racism.

The French World Cup winner said on his official Twitter account: "My ancestors and my parents suffered for my generation to be free today, to work, to take the bus, to play football.

"Racist insults are ignorance and can only make me stronger and motivate me to fight for the next generation."

Pogba's stance comes less than 24 hours after the 2-1 defeat to Palace at Old Trafford in which Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were undone by a late Patrick van Aanholt breakaway goal.

Rashford had earlier had the chance to equalise from the penalty spot but saw his effort crash against the post before the ball rolled out for a goal kick.

The England international had led condemnation of the deplorable comments and racial abuse directed at teammate Pogba days earlier, saying on Twitter: "Manchester United is a family.

@paulpogba is a huge part of that family. You attack him you attack us all..."

Following Saturday's match, however, several people - including one purporting to be a Manchester United fan - took aim at the 21-year-old striker on Twitter, with a number calling Rashford the "n" word before the hateful comments were taken down by the social media platform.

Manchester United had issued a statement saying the club was “disgusted” by the racial abuse aimed at Pogba and “utterly condemned” it but are yet to comment on the abuse aimed at Rashford.

During the match against Palace, Manchester United fans held up a banner saying "United against racism".

Following the Pogba abuse, representatives of Twitter said they were planning to meet officials at United to discuss the situation without specifying when talks would take place.

Twitter said in a statement to the Associated Press in response to the abuse suffered by Pogba that it "strongly condemn[s] this unacceptable behaviour, and have now permanently suspended a series of accounts for violating our Hateful Conduct Policy.”

Updated: August 25, 2019 05:01 PM

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