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Arsenal's Arteta threatened on social media, calls for lasting action in tackling abuse

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has said that he and his family have been threatened on social media and repeated his call for companies to take lasting action in tackling abuse.

The Gunners declined to add any detail when asked by ESPN to provide further information -- citing a desire to respect his privacy -- but Arteta confirmed at a news conference to preview Sunday's Premier League game against Leeds United that the club had attempted to deal with an incident.

- Premier League, FA demand more action against online abuse

"I'd prefer not to [speak about it] but I think we're all exposed to that in this industry," Arteta said.

"That's why I'd prefer not to read [social media] because it would affect me personally much more the moment that somebody wants to touch my family. Because it happened, the club was aware of it and we tried to do something about it. That's it. We have to live with it. It's not going to stop tomorrow, we know that, but medium or long-term, can we do something about it? That's what I am pushing for.

"We are lucky enough as well that the club is very supportive. We do what we have to do when those things happen. My only purpose is just, it's not going to happen tomorrow, but can we do something about it in the medium to long term to protect the people that are involved in the game, and maybe in other industries it happens in the same way."

Sources have told ESPN that Premier League clubs are growing increasingly frustrated with the lack of meaningful action taken by the relevant authorities amid mounting cases of online discrimination and abuse.

Newcastle manager Steve Bruce this week said he had received death threats as a letter signed by several football governing bodies including the Premier League, English Football League, the women's professional game and the Professional Game Match Officials' Board urged Twitter and Facebook to "accept responsibility" and "go further than you have promised."

"I think if we would be reading everything that is written about us, probably we'd have to stay in bed a lot of days," Arteta said. "It is part of it. I think it is great that people have the ability and so many platforms and ways to communicate and give their opinions.

"The only thing I'm asking is to be respectful, you know? Do it in a respectful way, you don't have to batter anybody or try to hurt anybody.

"Yeah, just give your opinion with the best intentions and when it's constructive I think everybody can take criticism. It's part of our job to look at it and think and reflect on it but when people just have the intention of hurting, that's when it becomes a little bit silly in my opinion. It's just finding that balance. There are a lot of positives, but I think there are things we can do better as well."

Referee Mike Dean will not officiate a Premier League game this weekend after requesting a break following death threats while several players including Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Axel Tuanzebe and Chelsea defender Reece James have been targeted this season.

"We've spoken internally to the players and tried to give them some advice and tried to protect them as much as possible," added Arteta.

"The incident that occurred a few days ago with Mike Dean is completely unacceptable and I think we should all stand for him and support Mike and the referring community as well.

"They have a tremendously difficult role in the league at the moment with a lot of key decisions that affect teams and leagues one way or the other, but at the same time they try to do their best. They prepare in the best possible way and we all make mistakes and I think we have to support them."

Meanwhile, UEFA has confirmed the Europa League round of 32 second-leg match between Arsenal and Benfica will take place at the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis in Piraeus, Greece. The date and kickoff time remain the same.