Wed | Jul 15, 2020

Manchester derby marred by racist abuse

Published:Sunday | December 8, 2019 | 12:43 AM

Manchester United’s Fred reacts after objects are thrown at him during the English Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, yesterday.
Manchester United’s Fred reacts after objects are thrown at him during the English Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester, England, yesterday.

MANCHESTER, England (AP):

Manchester United players were targeted with racist abuse and had coins thrown at them by Manchester City fans during yesterday’s Premier League derby at the Etihad Stadium.

English football’s anti-racism body, Kick It Out, said it had been “inundated with reports of alleged racist abuse from a number of individuals” at the game, which United won 2-1.

One incident appeared to be captured on camera in the second half when a fan seemed to mimic a monkey gesture in front of United midfielder Fred. Objects also hit the Brazilian on his back.

“I’ve seen it on the video,” United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said. “Fred and Jesse (Lingard) in the corner taking coins from the City fans first of all, so they’ve got to go away. And then there’s this not-so-intelligent fella chanting racist abuse towards my two players, and I hope City and the authorities will deal with it because he shouldn’t be watching football again. Not live, anyway.

“We have to stamp it out. We keep talking about it every single week, and it’s not acceptable. He should not be allowed back into a ground. That’s how simple it is.”

City said they were working with police to identify any perpetrators of racist abuse.

“Manchester City FC are aware of a video circulating on social media which appears to show a supporter making racial gestures,” the club said.

Zero tolerance

“The club operates a zero-tolerance policy regarding discrimination of any kind, and anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life.”

Earlier yesterday, a fourth-tier game in England was temporarily stopped by the referee for racism.

Forest Green Rovers pledged to take stringent action against a supporter for racially abusing a Scunthorpe player during the League Two game.

Referee John Busby spoke to both managers before a stadium announcement was relayed to the crowd, with the game paused.

The fan involved was quickly identified and an investigation immediately launched, with the perpetrator set to be handed a lifetime ban by the club.

“We can confirm we are currently investigating a report of racist abuse from a single fan towards an opposition player,” Forest Green Rovers spokesman Will Guyatt said. “We will be talking to that person as soon as possible. We would like to make clear that the club does not tolerate racism, and the ongoing investigation will end with a lifetime ban if found guilty.”