A report published by FIFA and FIFPRO, the global union for soccer players, found that female soccer players who participated in this year’s World Cup were subjected to online abuse more than their male counterparts.
The report, published Monday, found that female World Cup players were 29 percent more likely to be subjected to online abuse than male soccer players who participated in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.
More than 20 percent of the online abuse was homophobic, 15 percent of the abuse toward female players was sexual in nature and 14 percent was sexist attacks, according to the report.
The report also detailed that the United States Women’s National Team (USWNT) – who won the 2015 and 2019 World Cups – were targeted for online abuse due to “the perception of players not singing the National Anthem being called out as unpatriotic and anti-American.”
An unnamed player on Argentina’s national women’s soccer team also received “large volumes of the detected abuse,” the report noted, adding that politicians who supported their countries during the tournament through social media posts also triggered the abuse.
The report also found that 1 in 5 players in this year’s World Cup were subjected to online abuse, being “targeted with some form of discriminatory, abusive or threatening content.”
“The hatred and abuse that exists online is a social crisis that touches individuals all over the world and cannot be simply ignored or easily shrugged off,” the report reads. “In professional football, this toxic online environment is a difficult and risky place to be in for players.”
The report was created by the Social Media Protection Service (SMPS), a joint venture that launched last year by FIFA and the soccer player’s union. World Cup players who opted in to the service had their various social media accounts monitored for online abuse, according to the Washington Post.
SMPS reported more than 2,000 accounts and flagged and hid more than 116,000 abusive posts out of 1.3 million total comments. The service said the comments were hidden on official team channels and players’ accounts as well.
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This story originally Appeared on The Hill