A man has been arrested in the U.K. in connection with a racist tweet targeting Liverpool’s Egyptian forward Mohamed Salah.
Merseyside police said the 32-year-old man was arrested following an investigation into the offensive tweet, reportedly posted by an Everton fan, about the Egyptian-born Liverpool FC forward.
“Hate crime in any guise will not be tolerated and those who use the internet to target others, and who commit a criminal offence such as hate crime in doing so, need to understand that they are not beyond the law,” a police spokesperson said.
The post was condemned by Everton, Liverpool’s biggest local rival club.
“Everton condemns in the strongest terms any kind of racism,” the statement read.
“We have shared the material with the appropriate authorities and are looking into the matter further to understand if the Twitter user in question is known to the club in any way.”
The arrest comes just a few hours before the Premier League new season kicks off later on Friday.
The season opener will see Salah’s Liverpool come up against newcomers Norwich City at Anfield.
Last season had its fair share of racial abuse incidents, prompting calls for tighter laws to curb the vice in sport.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling faced racist abuse in the course of the 2018/2019 season.
The cases prompted calls from former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein to FIFA, urging for greater attention to the persistent problem of racism in games.