One in five players were the target of online abuse during the 2023 Women's World Cup, while a package of social media protection tools hid nearly 117,000 comments.
The Social Media Protection Service (SMPS), developed by world governing body FIFA with players' union FIFPRO, was offered to teams at the women's finals in Australia and New Zealand.
The tool, which has been used at eight FIFA tournaments in the last 12 months, monitors and moderates hate speech on social media, hiding harmful content from participants.
Players at this year's Women's World Cup were 29 per cent more likely to be targeted with online abuse compared with players at last year's men's finals in Qatar, Monday's FIFA report showed.
About 5.1 million posts and comments in 35 different languages were analysed for abusive content, FIFA said, protecting 697 players and coaches actively using 2111 accounts across Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, X and YouTube.
More than 150 female players received targeted discriminatory, abusive or threatening messages during the tournament.
The US, who had their worst-ever finals performance, and Argentina teams stood out as key targets.
Homophobic, sexual and sexist abuse accounted for almost 50 per cent of detected abusive messages, FIFA said, while 116,800 comments hidden across the Facebook, Instagram and YouTube platforms were identified as junk, spam, discriminatory, abusive or threatening.
The final, in which Spain beat England 1-0, generated the largest spike of abusive content across the tournament, with more than 6500 comments hidden by SMPS.
"There can be no place on social media for those who abuse or threaten anyone, be that in FIFA tournaments or elsewhere," FIFA president Gianni Infantino said.
FIFPRO president David Aganzo added: "The abuse that persists online impacts football players all over the world and it cannot be ignored.
"This toxic online environment is a risky place to be in for players and it affects their mental health and wellbeing.
"Football has a responsibility to protect the players around their workspace."
The SMPS tool uses artificial intelligence to protect the players and also helps prevent their followers being exposed to hate speech.
Australian Associated Press