The FA has called on the police and social media firms to do more to tackle online abuse after England and Chelsea midfielder Karen Carney was subjected to rape and death threats.
Carney, 31, received the abuse after Chelsea’s Champions League win over Fiorentina on Wednesday night, in which she scored the only goal of the match.
The first of the messages on Instagram read: “How many chances you need to score in second half stupid b******”
It was then followed by “I wish you cancer and leukaemia” and then “I hope someone will rape you to death”.
In response to the abuse, Carney, who has 133 international caps, wrote: “Wow some people.”
England Women coach Phil Neville shared Carney’s post on his Instagram account, writing: “A message sent to one of my @lionesses players last night, absolutely disgraceful.”
He went on to ask Instagram: “Are you going to do something about it?”
The FA is backing Neville and has called for further action to be taken.
“We are appalled and dismayed by the abuse directed towards Karen Carney on social media,” it said.
“The FA takes such matters extremely seriously and we are offering our full support to Karen. The abuse of players on social networking sites is a serious concern and we call on the police and social media organisations to do everything they can to help tackle this growing problem.
“We provide all our senior England players with training, guidance and support on the use of social media and treat our duty of care in this regard with the utmost importance.”
Instagram said the account responsible for the messages had been removed as the company does “not tolerate threatening or abusive behaviour”.
It added: “We encourage anyone who sees content of this kind to report it via our in-app tools and our global team work 24/7 to review and remove anything that violates our Community Guidelines.”