Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has urged the UK government to take action against racism as he condemns recent attacks on footballers.
United trio Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and Axel Tuanzebe were racially abused recently.
The former United defender wants the government to show real seriousness about the matter and also urged for repercussions for offenders.
“I think the government needs to step in,” Ferdinand told BT Sport.
“This is a serious issue and they need to show how serious they are about this. We need the government to regulate this whole situation – yes, the social media companies have to play their part.
“Morally, I think they need to put their best foot forward, put their hands up and ask how they can deal with this, with the government.
“There needs to be repercussions for people, people can come out and be derogatory, say racist comments, they can discriminate from behind a curtain and never be seen and remain anonymous – that is the problem.”
“Once someone feels that actually, I may be put out in front of the public and outed as a racist, then maybe you get a different kind of temperature on this and people start to think.”
“You’re not stopping someone from being a racist, but you’re stopping them from vocalising it and giving it to people and sending it through social media.
“Like I said, the government needs to put the right regulations in place to help with this situation, because it’s a disgusting situation we’re in right now.”
The club have since filed a complaint with the police concerning the issue.