Aleksander Ceferin said UEFA would join a social media boycott this weekend as the governing body grew tired of “cowards” “spitting their harmful ideologies” online.
UEFA followed the lead of a coalition of English football players, including the Football Association, the Premier League and the Women’s Super League, by taking a social media silence from 3:00 p.m. BST (4:00 p.m. CEST) Friday to 23:59. BST on Monday May 3.
The position, taken to show solidarity against online abuse, will also be adopted by other sports governing bodies, clubs and individuals.
UEFA President Ceferin said measures must be taken to prevent footballers and others involved in the match from being subjected to what has become “a culture of hate”.
He said in a statement Thursday: “There has been abuse both on the ground and on social media.
“This is unacceptable and must be stopped, with the help of public and legislative authorities and social media giants.
“Allowing a culture of hate to develop with impunity is dangerous, very dangerous, not only for football, but for society as a whole.
“This is why we are supporting this initiative. It is time for football to take a stand and I have been impressed by the solidarity shown by players, clubs and stakeholders.
“I urge everyone – players, clubs and national associations – to file a formal complaint whenever players, coaches, referees or officials are victims of unacceptable tweets or messages. We have had enough of these cowards who hide behind their anonymity to spit out their harmful ideologies.
England Rugby announced on Thursday that all social networks operated by the Rugby Football Union (RFU) would also join the boycott, along with major clubs.
The England and Wales Cricket Council (ECB) confirmed on Wednesday that the 18 first-class county teams, as well as the regional women’s teams and the Professional Cricket Association (PCA) “will join the community football ”by taking part in the blackout.