EPL files police complaint after tracking online abuse of Brighton player to a person in Singapore

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - JUNE 20: Neal Maupay of Brighton and Hove Albion scores his team's second goal past Emiliano Martinez of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Brighton & Hove Albion and Arsenal FC at American Express Community Stadium on June 20, 2020 in Brighton, England. Football Stadiums around Europe remain empty due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in all fixtures being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)
Brighton forward Neal Maupay (centre) scoring the late winning goal on their English Premier League clash with Arsenal in 20 June 2020. (PHOTO: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — The English Premier League (EPL) has filed an official police complaint in Singapore, after it had tracked a “serious online abuse” received by Brighton and Hove Albion forward Neal Maupay to a person in the country.

In a media statement on Thursday (13 August), the league said that the 23-year-old French footballer received “threatening and abusive messages”, which were reported via the EPL’s online abuse reporting system.

The system was launched in June to enable players, managers, coaches and their family members to notify the league of serious discriminatory abuse received via direct messages on social media platforms.

The EPL now working with Maupay and Brighton to review the case, liaise with Singapore authorities and support all subsequent legal action on behalf of Maupay.

“The abuse Neal received is wholly unacceptable. We responded immediately to seek justice on his behalf, which in this case meant identifying the perpetrator, tracking them to where they live, and then pursuing legal action accordingly,” said the league’s chief executive, Richard Masters.

“We take each report provided to us extremely seriously and we will use all possible resources in supporting our players and managers to investigate incidents, regardless of where the offender is located.”

When contacted by Yahoo News Singapore, the Singapore police confirmed that a report was lodged and investigations are ongoing.

Maupay made 38 appearances with Brighton in the 2019/20 season, his debut season with the EPL club, and scored 10 goals to help his team stave off relegation.

In June, he courted controversy during his side’s 2-1 league win over Arsenal. While he scored the dramatic stoppage-time winner for his club, he was also involved in a clash with the Gunners’ goalkeeper Bernd Leno which left the German with a knee injury.

After the match, Maupay apologised for the incident with Leno, but also criticised other Arsenal players who were allegedly mouthing off while Arsenal were in the lead, saying that these players “need to learn humility”.

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