No malice intended’: Women’s football star says she got ‘all sorts of abuse after horror red-card tackle on rival

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Manchester City women’s star Georgia Stanway has apologized for her horrendous challenge which drew a red card in Saturday’s derby with Manchester United – but says she received a torrent of abusive messages online afterwards.

England international Stanway, 22, received her marching orders after she chopped down Leah Galton in the first half of the game with their arch-rivals. 

Stanway, who was deputizing at right back for Manchester City, let loose with the x-rated tackle around the 35 minute mark of the match which eventually finished as a 2-2 draw, prompting furious protests from Galton’s teammates as she lay injured on the pitch.

But writing on social media early on Sunday, Stanway apologized to Galton for the reckless challenge – also stating that she has been subjected to numerous abusive and offensive messages on social media due to the nature of the tackle.

I want to apologize for the sending off in yesterday’s Manchester Derby,” Stanway wrote on her Twitter page.

Everyone who knows me knows I’m passionate and competitive. There was absolutely no malice intended and I’m glad Leah was okay and able to carry on with the game.

A huge thank you to my Man City teammates for the support and effort to secure a point. And to both sets of fans for creating an unbelievable atmosphere. 

I made a mistake and hope everyone can accept my apology but I shouldn’t have to log into social media and find myself subjected to all sort of abusive messages – remember we are all human and mistakes happen.”

Stanway’s allegations of online abuse come at a time where social media interaction with footballers in the UK is under the microscope, with several such incidents having been reported in recent months.

Several current and former professionals like Rio Ferdinand, Ian Wright and Raheem Sterling have noted similar interactions with fans – with the the litany of aggressive messages sent to England’s trio of young, black players Jadon Sancho, Bukayo Saka and Marcus Rashford in the wake of their missed penalties in the Euro 2020 Final against Italy igniting a media frenzy this past summer.

Social media companies and the Premier League itself have vowed to crack down on football’s dark underbelly by initiating policies to ban offending fans from attending games, among other such penalties.

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