Football fan arrested over racism

2012-01-29 13:47

London - British police said they arrested a man late on Saturday in connection with an alleged racist gesture made at Liverpool's Anfield stadium during the FA Cup fourth-round tie against Manchester United.

An image of a man apparently making a monkey gesture in the stands was widely distributed on social networking websites, and a number of complaints were made to police after the match which ended in a 2-1 win for Liverpool.

The game was the first between the fierce rivals since Liverpool striker Luis Suarez was given an eight-match ban after a Football Association inquiry found him guilty of racially abusing United captain Patrice Evra.

A police spokesperson said: "Merseyside Police can confirm that a 59-year-old man from North Wales has been arrested this evening following an alleged incident at the LFC vs MUFC match this afternoon.

"The man has been taken to a police station and will be questioned by officers.

"Merseyside Police would like to thank North Wales Police and Liverpool Football Club for their assistance with this matter."

Before the match the stadium announcer warned supporters that racist behaviour would not be tolerated.

Evra, a French international defender who was born in Senegal, was loudly booed by Liverpool fans throughout the match.

Speaking before the arrest, match commander Chief Superintendent Jon Ward said: "I would like to thank the majority of fans for their behaviour and co-operation.

"We knew this would be a busy operation and most fans can be proud that they acted as ambassadors for their cities and their clubs.

"We can confirm that specialist officers are reviewing match footage, as a result of a picture posted on Twitter.

"This matter is now under investigation by specialist hate crime detectives and we are working with Liverpool Football Club to identify the man in question."

- SAPA
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