Football’s major stakeholders will meet next week to discuss a complete social media blackout.
Championship club Swansea announced on Thursday they and their players would quit social media for seven days over the rise in online abuse and to ramp up pressure on the likes of Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to clean up their platforms.
Swansea were joined by second-tier rivals Birmingham in a show of solidarity.
Football’s major stakeholders will meet to discuss a social media blackout in protest at players, such as Swansea’s Jamal Lowe (above), receiving vile online abuse
Scottish champions Rangers announced their players and management, led by Steven Gerrard, would begin a week-long boycott of social media from 7pm on Thursday night.
And now a meeting has been set for early next week, involving the Premier League and EFL, to discuss a collective approach across the divisions.
The idea of all teams from the top flight, Championship, Leagues One and Two holding a one-day boycott has been mooted.
Swansea acted after three of their players were subjected to racist abuse. Jamal Lowe, Yan Dhanda and Ben Cabango have all been targeted.
The club’s boycott began on Thursday night at 5pm and will last a week. Swansea will keep supporters updated via their website rather than on social media.
The Premier League and EFL will take part in the meeting which is set to take place next week
Manager Steve Cooper said: ‘The club want to take a stance. It was a collective decision. We want to join in this big movement of trying to eradicate, as much as we can, any discrimination. It’s a powerful decision.’
Birmingham’s move suggested the Swansea blackout could be the catalyst for a wider protest.
An EFL spokesperson said: ‘Racist, discriminatory and threatening abuse online is a scourge on society that is reflected in the sustained abuse of players and people connected to our national game.
‘The football authorities have consistently challenged social media companies to use their platforms to effect change and we continue to work with stakeholders to create conditions that will ensure there are real-life consequences for online abuse.
Swansea boss Steve Cooper explained the club ‘want to take a stance’ against discrimination
Thierry Henry was the first high-profile footballer to have stepped away from social media
‘Likewise we are supportive of any EFL club’s proactive efforts to combat hate. The merits of taking collective action were debated by clubs today.’
Arsenal legend Thierry Henry was the first high-profile footballer to come off social media when he quit recently and Gareth Southgate has mooted England players blanking the platforms during the Euros.
England Women boss Hege Riise said her players would have her full support if they boycott social media because of abuse.
Manchester City striker Ellen White, who came off social media during the 2019 Women’s World Cup, added: ‘Something needs to be done to support those that have had abuse. It needs to be a safe place. Those platforms need to make it safer and the Government needs to do more.’