Watford legend Luther Blissett has called on football’s governing bodies to do more to combat racism in football after three Hornets players received racist abuse online. 

The day after captain Troy Deeney had spoken so openly and emotionally about Watford “enjoying the moment” following their historic FA Cup semi-final victory, the skipper, along with team-mates Adrian Mariappa and Christian Kabasele, was subjected to racist abuse on social media.

Blissett, who himself received racist abuse during his playing days, believes proper measures now have to be brought in to deal with the problem.

“They need to come up with something now to ensure action is actually taken somewhere along the line,” he said.

“Whether it be the FA, UEFA or FIFA, they need to act now. It’s by the actions that they do that will make the biggest difference.

“The biggest thing they do is fine people. A financial punishment for modern football is nothing. In the seventies, a fine of £10,000 was a fortune for a club, but now it’s nothing to them. Especially if you’re doing that to a country, it’s not even a drop of rain in an ocean. 

“It needs to be taken seriously and they have to start banning clubs, banning countries, or if it comes to clubs they have to be deducted points and they have to risk relegation. All these things are options. 

“There has to be some proper measures in place to deal with the situation. There’s too much box ticking and pushing it to one side and it’s got to stop. “

Deeney disabled comments on his Instagram account on Monday evening and posted an image of the Premier League’s ‘No room for racism’ logo, with an accompanying caption that said: “Due to events from the last 24 hours I will be taking comments off my posts.

“To me this isn’t a game, when you racially abuse my family or myself I have to take measures to prevent young people seeing these comments and thinking that it’s acceptable, And having to expose people I care about to these small minded people.”

Both Mariappa and Kabasele followed their skipper with screenshots of racial abuse that they too had received.

The Watford Observer understands that the club are working closely with the players and legal representatives to ensure the police are made aware of the instances and they have also informed Kick It Out of this course of action.

A representative from Kick it Out called on social media platforms to step up their efforts to eradicate racism from their sites.

They said: “We have long campaigned for social media companies to take swift and decisive action against people who use their platforms for hate speech.

“Twitter, for instance, say abuse and harassment has “no place” on its site but it is obvious that there really is a place for it there and in our view the problem is getting worse.

“We would ask all the social media companies to put a lot greater resources into finding, reporting and excluding these people and co-operating with the police to make sure they are punished.

“Footballers, like anyone in society, are entitled to go about their work without being abused, intimidated or trolled.”

Away from Watford a number of other players, including Derby County’s Duane Holmes, Wigan defender Nathan Byrne and Crystal Palace’s Wilfried Zaha also complained of abuse from a Newcastle United fan, while Tottenham’s Danny Rose recently said he could not wait to finish his playing career, such was the impact of racism on him.

Blissett described Rose’s situation as “very sad” but that he could understand what he was feeling.

He said: “The Danny Rose situation is a very sad thing, that anyone could find themselves in that situation.

“He just wants to see the back of it because he doesn’t see why he should have to deal or prepare himself for people shouting abuse at him because of his skin colour every time he walks out on a football pitch.

“That’s a shared experience that I’ve had, I can understand where he’s coming from and I just think it’s a shame.

“All we can do is be there for him and do everything we can to eradicate this thing which is a scourge on society, people and football.”