Bolton report racist abuse of DR Congo's Kachunga

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Bolton signed Elias Kachunga on a two-year contract before the start of the 2021-22 League One seasonBolton signed Elias Kachunga on a two-year contract before the start of the 2021-22 League One season

Bolton Wanderers have reported racist social media abuse directed at striker Elias Kachunga to the police, says boss Ian Evatt.

"It's a really serious issue and no player should have to undergo that kind of treatment," Evatt told BBC Radio Manchester.

"He's got our full support and backing and we've reported it to the police."

In a statement, the club said it would be providing support to Kachunga as well as stating they would "follow protocols provided by the English Football League and Kick It Out".

"I have spoken with Elias and his partner and they are understandably upset by these messages," chairman Sharon Brittain added.

"My immediate thoughts are with them, as well as his teammates who are repulsed by the language that was used."

Kachunga is a former Germany youth international and has one senior cap for DR Congo.

The incident comes as former Manchester United and England defender Rio Ferdinand said football is "sliding backwards", with racist online abuse normalising racism.

Ferdinand was speaking to a joint parliamentary committee which is seeking possible improvements to the government's draft Online Safety Bill.

EFL chairman Rick Parry said: "In a week when the shortcomings of social media platforms have been highlighted once again, it is sickening to see the vitriolic racist abuse directed at Bolton Wanderers' Elias Kachunga."

Also on Thursday, a football fan was found guilty under the Malicious Communications Act of sending a racial slur towards West Bromwich Albion's Romaine Sawyers following their Premier League defeat by Manchester City in January.

The Baggies issued Simon Silwood, 50, with a lifetime ban after a court found that his Facebook message about the midfielder, who is currently on loan at Stoke City, was intentionally racist and not the result of an autocorrect.

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