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Rio Ferdinand fears players will be racially abused at the World Cup

Rio Ferdinand fears players will be racially abused at the World Cup

Rio Ferdinand fears players will be racially abused at the World Cup.

The 44-year-old former footballer - who earned 81 caps for the Three Lions - explained that when the upcoming World Cup comes along in later this month, players could be subject to abuse as they take to the pitch in Qatar.

He said: "They're disheartened. They don’t see enough movement when things go wrong. They don’t see enough support, even empathy and compassion sometimes when they’re on the receiving end of some of these things. I honestly think it probably will happen again. It’s unfair. And I don’t think it’s just English players, I think it’s players of colour from all over the world who will be thinking this. For a player to be getting on the pitch and thinking, ‘If I make a mistake, I could be racially abused’, that’s real. And in today’s day and age, should that be the case? It shouldn’t be. It shouldn’t be in any day and age, but you’d think we would have made steps to come forward from this."

The former West Ham United went on to claim that nothing will change in the sports world because "toxic behavioiurs" and hate speech manages to "drive revenue" via social media.

Speaking as part of his new documentary series 'Tipping Point' on Prime Video, he added: "But the intentions and the values of the social media platforms are there for all to see. They’re not willing to change, because they know that these types of toxic behaviours and hate behaviours drive revenue. So they’re not going to change, it seems to me, at the moment!

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