Manchester United say they are “disgusted” after Axel Tuanzebe and Anthony Martial were racially abused on social media by “mindless idiots” after Wednesday’s loss to Sheffield United.

Both players started the 2-1 Premier League defeat at Old Trafford.

United midfielder Scott McTominay wrote that he was “disgusted with what I have read this morning”.

Club captain Harry Maguire added: “United against racism. We will not tolerate it.”

Former United defender Rio Ferdinand called it a “disgrace”, adding: “These ignorant idiots need to be exposed so everyone can see them for what they are.”

In a statement, the club said: “Everyone at Manchester United is disgusted by the racial abuse received by players via social media after last night’s game.

“We utterly condemn it and it is encouraging to see other fans condemn this on social media also.

“Identifying these anonymous mindless idiots remains problematic. We urge social media platforms and regulatory authorities to strengthen measures to prevent this kind of behaviour.”

What is being done about online abuse?

On Monday, the UK government held talks with current and former footballers about tackling discrimination and abuse.

It comes as the government plans to introduce new laws on online abuse in 2021.

In September, Kick It Out revealed there had been a 42% increase in reports of discrimination in English professional football the previous season.

Earlier this month the anti-discrimination charity convened talks between key football authorities, policing and social media companies to discuss how to tackle online abuse in football.

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