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Rival fans mock tweet and online condolence book collecting messages of support for Virgil van Dijk


Tweets and online condolence book collecting ‘messages of support’ for Virgil van Dijk is pulled down after rival fans mocked the reaction to his injury with ‘RIP’ and ‘thoughts and prayers’ messages

  • Virgil van Dijk suffered a season-ending knee injury in the Merseyside derby
  • The Liverpool centre-back has been ruled out for the majority of the campaign
  • An online condolence book was set up so fans could send ‘messages of support’
  • The forum has since been taken down after fans mercilessly mocked the post
  • ‘RIP Virgil’ has been trending on Twitter after the condolence book was set up

A series of tweets and an online condolence book set up to send ‘messages of support’ to the injured Virgil van Dijk has been taken down after rival fans mercilessly mocked the campaign.

It was announced on Sunday that the Dutchman would miss most of of the season after he suffered an ACL injury following a knee-high lunge from Jordan Pickford in Saturday’s Merseyside derby.

Following the news that Liverpool would be without their talismanic defender for a while, an online forum was set up by the Liverpool Echo so that fans could ‘leave words of support’ for the stricken 29-year-old.

Liverpool Echo asked fans to 'send messages of support' for the injured Virgil Van Dijk

Liverpool Echo asked fans to ‘send messages of support’ for the injured Virgil Van Dijk

On online condolence book where fans could write their messages has since been taken down

On online condolence book where fans could write their messages has since been taken down

On Monday evening, the Merseyside-based publication tweeted: ‘One day, we will watch him defend and watch him score once again – but in the meantime, leave your words of support,’ before leaving a link to an online condolence book where fans could write their messages.

The Liverpool Echo’s tweet was accompanied by a black-and-white image of Van Dijk, along with the caption of ‘send a message to Virgil’.

The initial tweet and website has since been taken down after rival fans, unsurprisingly, ridiculed the post, which led to ‘RIP Virgil’ to trend on Twitter in the UK.

Fans have laughed at the publication’s efforts to show support, leaving many to jokingly question if the defender had fatally suffered a much more serious injury.

Rival fans mercilessly mocked the Liverpool Echo's campaign which saw 'RIP VVD' trend

Rival fans mercilessly mocked the Liverpool Echo’s campaign which saw ‘RIP VVD’ trend

‘RIP VVD. Can’t believe you died playing football. Pickford should be in jail. This is truly heartbreaking. What a senseless waste of life,’ one Twitter user said.

Another joked: ‘Sending my condolences on the passing of VVD #RIP.’

One fan described the campaign as ‘the most pathetic thing I’ve ever seen’.

While injuries such as Van Dijk’s have a negative impact on the player, club and fanbase, they are not uncommon, which has prompted rival supporters to mock the emotional response.

The post comes less than 24 hours after it was announced that Pickford would controversially avoid a retrospective ban from the Football Association for his reckless lunge as it was seen by referee Michael Oliver during the match.

Pickford caused controversy after his awful challenge on Virgil Van Dijk went unpunished

Pickford caused controversy after his awful challenge on Virgil Van Dijk went unpunished

Dutch international van Dijk is now expected to miss the rest of the current campaign

Dutch international van Dijk is now expected to miss the rest of the current campaign

Quite shockingly, the officials in charge of VAR for the match at Goodison Park admitted to seeing the tackle but forgot the rules that would’ve allowed them to review the incident for a red card. 

Liverpool are livid after Pickford’s lunge went unpunished with David Coote, the official overseeing proceedings at Stockley Park, failing to look at whether Everton’s goalkeeper should have been dismissed.

Remarkably, Sportsmail has been told Coote thought the offside — which he checked forensically — nullified what happened afterwards.

Liverpool are demanding urgent clarification on the PGMOL’s handling of the incident. Senior sources at Anfield claim the Premier League are more interested in briefing their version of events — which they also allege keeps changing — than talking with the club.

The VAR David Coote thought offside which he checked forensically nullified the horror foul

The VAR David Coote thought offside which he checked forensically nullified the horror foul

Liverpool are demanding urgent clarification on the PGMOL's handling of the incident

Liverpool are demanding urgent clarification on the PGMOL’s handling of the incident

Liverpool insiders say they were told on Saturday that Coote was ‘too distracted’ by the offside check and therefore did not look at the possible red card for Pickford. 

News of Pickford escaping a ban was met with disgust by some supporters who had hoped ‘justice’ would have been meted out given van Dijk’s likely long-term absence, but it now appears some posts have gone further which has caused the police to get involved. 

The force investigating the tweets in question has vowed to bring those responsible ‘to justice’ and have warned those involved that they ‘are not beyond the law’.

A Merseyside Police spokesperson said: ‘We are currently investigating a number of offensive Tweets made in relation to two Everton footballers.

Toffess keeper Jordan Pickford is also said to have received abusive tweets being looked at

Toffess keeper Jordan Pickford is also said to have received abusive tweets being looked at

‘The language used in the Tweets is totally unacceptable and we are taking the reports extremely seriously.

‘Those who use the internet to target others, and who commit criminal offences such as making threats or committing a hate crime in doing so, are not beyond the law.

‘Detectives are making enquiries to identify the individuals who posted the Tweets and where we identify offences we will take action to bring those responsible to justice.’

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