Amidst the anticipation that Poland and Ukraine would embarrass themselves at the Euros by racially abusing fans and players, it was in fact England this week where reports of racism have reared their ugly heads once more.
Twitter has allegedly provided the platform for a barrage of racially motivated abuse directed towards England's Ashley Cole and Ashley Young. The colour of their skin was subject to vile remarks and comments following their penalty misses.
The tweeter, who is said to be based in London (the most multi-cultured city in the world) wrote: “All I got to say is this was just a joke, you guys need to relax, police know i was kiddin around and they won’t bother me hopefully, cheers.”
Another tweet read: “The police won’t bother me mate i can assure you that.”
A Metropolitan Police spokesman said yesterday: “We are aware of alleged racist comments on Twitter following last night’s England game and have launched an investigation." There has been no arrests but the comments are been examined under Section 18/19 Public Order Act 1986.
This is the second high profile incident of racism through Twitter this year after a student was sentenced to 56 days in prison after his comments towards Fabrice Muamba in March.
Unfortunately this incident isn't the only example of neanderthal behaviour after the wounds of England fans were reopened when Italy put England to the sword on penalties. The defeat also sparked unrest in Bedford as a mob of 150 congregated to confront an Italian fan stronghold at The Embankment pub forcing the High Street in Bedford to shut down. The mindless alcohol-fuelled supporters damaged a number of vehicles driven by celebrating Azzuri supporters and reports of assault have emerged.
It's nice to fantasise that all this senseless violence and racism happens thousands of miles away on Panorama reports, but in reality it would seem very much in our own back yard.
It's time for change. We all bleed red.