Manchester United have said they are “disgusted” by racial abuse aimed at midfielder Paul Pogba on social media after he missed a penalty in the club’s 1-1 draw against Wolves on Monday night.
Wolves goalkeeper Rui Patricio saved Pogba’s 68th-minute spot-kick in the second half, with the scores level.
A win at Molineux would have put United top of the Premier League, above Liverpool on goal difference.
“Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse aimed at Paul Pogba last night and we utterly condemn it,” United said in a statement.
Pogba’s miss came after an apparent discussion with striker Marcus Rashford over who should take the penalty.
The England forward condemned the abuse directed at his teammate, tweeting: “Manchester United is a family. @paulpogba is a huge part of that family. You attack him you attack us all…”
United’s England defender Harry Maguire also wrote: “Disgusting. Social media need to do something about it… Every account that is opened should be verified by a passport/driving licence. Stop these pathetic trolls making numerous accounts to abuse people.”
Fans too were quick to condemn the offensive posts on Twitter – the majority of which were reportedly subsequently deleted.
One wrote: “This behaviour is absolutely disgusting! Racism has no place in football & no place on this earth! How can you racially abuse @paulpogba for missing a penalty! When for a fact i bet these individuals were praising him last week with his performance against Chelsea! #SayNoToRacism.”
United said they would take the “strongest course of action” against any person found guilty of racial abuse and discrimination.
The club’s statement added: “The individuals who expressed these views do not represent the values of our great club and it is encouraging to see the vast majority of our fans condemn this on social media also.
“Manchester United has zero tolerance of any form of racism or discrimination and a long-standing commitment to campaigning against it through our #AllRedAllEqual initiative.
“We will work to identify the few involved in these incidents and take the strongest course of action available to us. We also encourage social media companies to take action in these cases.”
Pogba is the latest player in English football to suffer racial abuse on social media after a match.
Reading midfielder Yakou Meite was also subjected to racial abuse after he missed a 91st-minute penalty in a 3-0 win over Cardiff in the Championship on Sunday.
Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham vowed to “silence the haters” after being targeted online after missing a penalty against Liverpool in the UEFA Super Cup final last Wednesday in Istanbul, Turkey.
Anti-discrimination campaign group Kick It Out said: “The latest round of fixtures have again seen unwarranted and vile racist abuse sent to players.
“The number of posts such as these since the start of the season further highlights how discriminatory abuse online is out of control.
“Without immediate and the strongest possible action these cowardly acts will continue to grow.”