Anthony Martial Calls for Bans After Racist Abuse of Paul Pogba

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistAugust 22, 2019

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, right, and forward Anthony Martial during the English Premier League match between Cardiff City and Manchester United at the Cardiff City Stadium in Cardiff, Wales, Saturday Dec. 22, 2018. (AP Photo/ Jon Super)
Jon Super/Associated Press

Manchester United forward Anthony Martial has said people who racially abuse players should receive bans following online abuse aimed at team-mate Paul Pogba. 

Per Sky Sports, the Frenchman said racism is not something that can be eradicated, but that shouldn't stop authorities from handing out punishment:

"It's something you can't really eradicate from society. Out there on the pitch, we can't do anything about it per se. As players, we are there among white people, black people, people of all colours.

"The French expression is 'we're all the same'. Bans should be brought about for people who give out this hatred. People go to football stadiums to have a good time and enjoy the game, and there's no place for it. I'm in favour of the love, not the hate."

Rui Vieira/Associated Press

Pogba was the target of racist abuse online after missing a penalty in the 1-1 draw against Wolverhampton, per Sky.

According to Martyn Ziegler of The Times, Twitter will monitor the profiles of 50 high-profile black players more closely in an attempt to stop the abuse. Sky added the platform will meet with the club:

Sky Sports News @SkySportsNews

Twitter will meet Man Utd within the next few weeks to discuss the racist abuse aimed at Paul Pogba following Monday night’s game with Wolves.

Online racist abuse has become a major talking point early in the 2019-20 campaign after multiple incidents already. Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham was targeted after he missed the decisive penalty in the shootout loss against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup, per Sky's Joe Shread.

Reading's Yakou Meite has also been targeted:

Reading FC @ReadingFC

We won’t give oxygen to racist comments sent to this man via social media this afternoon. Instead, we will let a picture tell a thousand words. “We’ve got Meite...Yakou Meite...” 🎵 https://t.co/4mRXmvqBSy

Chelsea banned four fans for racial abuse toward Manchester City star Raheem Sterling last season but said that abuse took place inside the stadium.

Martial also discussed his relationship with fellow forward Marcus Rashford, and how training drills have played a role in their solid start to the season:

"At training, we have this competition between us about scoring goals. We measure who does the best finishing and who scores the most.

"Who's winning? Well, that depends... Sometimes it's him, sometimes it's me. In games, Marcus likes to play in the middle, like me. I don't mind dropping off, dropping out, we interchange during games.

"It doesn't bother me to let him take the lead occasionally. It helps us to terrorise opposition defences and I hope we can keep it up over the course of the season."

Both have already scored twice in two Premier League games, making fans quickly forget about former striker Romelu Lukaku. The Belgian was sold to Inter Milan in the summer, and with no direct replacement arriving during the transfer window, Martial and Rashford are expected to provide the goals from now on.