Reece James

A racist troll who abused Reece James has been located in the middle East just three weeks before the 2022 World Cup takes place in Qatar, according to reports.

James shared a series of racist messages he had received on social media in January last year. The 22-year-old also reported the abuse to the police and Instagram.

The Met Police’s ­specialist football unit have been working on finding the individual who sent the messages for the past 21 months.

According to The Sun, they have finally had a break through – having successfully located the guilty party in the Middle East.

As a result, the Met Police have been working closely with the authorities in the Middle East to find the individual’s exact whereabouts.

It is believed an arrest will take place soon. Therefore, the troll could be charged before the World Cup in Qatar begins next month.

Speaking to The Sun, James said: ‘It’s tough. I get (racist) messages here and there, but I’ve never really had it face to face.

‘It’s always the way (that trolls hide behind the keyboard); whenever I see it I report it. It’s one of those things that is hard to control. Most of the time they are fake accounts.’

James was first interviewed by the police in February last year after reporting the racist abuse he had received on January 29.

The England star – who deleted social media after the incident – shared a screenshot of the abusive messages he received on Instagram.

In a series of direct messages, James was called a ‘monkey’ and asked how he could live with ‘f****** dirty black skin’.

James reportedly spoke to Instagram, the Met Police and officials abroad about the incident. However, the culprit has only been found now.

James said the wait as been ‘tough’ but insisted he had to do something about the racist abuse he had received.

James said: ‘It’s tough, when you have to take so much time on interviews and statements, and then it doesn’t lead to anything.

‘I had this one last season, monkey emojis and stuff. Before I didn’t really open my messages, but one day I managed to see it, and reported it.’

The Met Police’s ­specialist football unit have reportedly tracked the account – named mhmd.awada – down to the Middle East.

As a result, the Met Police have been working closely with the cops in the Middle East to work towards arresting the guilty party.

A source said: ‘There’s been a lot of conversation between police from both regions — everyone has been taking this case seriously.

‘It’s vital players feel supported and listened to, and know that all efforts are being made to clamp down on racism within the game.

‘Of course, there are fears that this account — and others like it — are linked to a racist group in Qatar, a country which has been found to have a poor track record for racist abuse against non-nationals.

‘We’ve already seen England players being horrifically racially abused after the Euro 2020 final — the last thing anyone needs is a repeat.’

Reece will be hoping the guilty party is charged before the World Cup commences in Qatar next month.

James was on course to be England’s first-choice right-back at the upcoming World Cup. However, he is currently out of action due to injury.

The 22-year-old defender sustained a serious knee injury during Chelsea’s Champions League triumph over AC Milan.

James appeared on crutches soon after the game and Chelsea released the following statement.

It read: ‘Following the knee injury sustained in our away match against AC Milan, Reece has received treatment from the Chelsea medical department and visited a specialist this weekend.

‘After consultation between all parties, Reece will now undergo a rehabilitation programme and is expected to be out for eight weeks.’

Despite the setback, however, James has not given up on recovering in time for the World Cup, writing on Twitter: ‘The race against time is on… But we won’t give up.’

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