Arrest spotlights racism concerns in English soccer

Publish Date : 2021-04-08


Arrest spotlights racism concerns in English soccer

Police in England arrested a man Saturday on suspicion of making a racially abusive gesture at a high-profile soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester United earlier that day, they said Sunday.

Charlotte Spink, a press officer for Merseyside police in Liverpool, said the suspect was a 59-year-old from north Wales. She did not name him. He has not been charged.

Police earlier said hate crimes officers were involved in the investigation.



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They appealed to the public to help identify a man who appeared to be making a racist gesture and said Liverpool Football Club was cooperating with the probe.

It was the first time Liverpool had played Manchester United since Liverpool's Luis Suarez was suspended and fined for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in October.

Suarez was suspended for eight matches and fined £40,000 ($63,000), England's Football Association announced in December.

Evra said Suarez repeatedly shouted a racial slur at him during the October 15 match and demanded that Suarez be held accountable.

Liverpool issued a statement saying it was 'very surprised and disappointed' with the decision.

Suarez did not specify what he said but said it wasn't offensive.

'I didn't insult him. It was only a form of expressing myself. I called him something his own teammates from Manchester call him,' Suarez said, according to the Uruguayan newspaper El Pais.

Suarez is from Uruguay. Evra was born in Senegal and plays international soccer for France.

The commission found that Suarez 'used insulting words towards Mr. Evra' and that those words 'included a reference to Mr. Evra's color,' the FA statement said.

Saturday's arrest is the second time this month that a person at a Liverpool match has been accused of racism

Earlier this month, Merseyside police arrested a 20-year-old man on 'suspicion of a racially-aggravated public order offense' following a Liverpool match against Oldham.

The team made a public apology after Oldham defender Tom Adeyemi complained of being abused by Liverpool fans during a January 7 match.

'All of us are deeply sorry for what happened on Friday night and players and our club pass on our sincere regrets to Tom Adeyemi for the upset and distress he suffered as a result of the matter at hand,' the club said in a statement on its website.

Liverpool is not the only top-flight English soccer team to face allegations of racism.

Chelsea's John Terry -- who is also captain of the England team -- has been charged by police for allegedly racially abusing Queens Park Rangers player Anton Ferdinand, and will face a court case in February.

Earlier this month, Merseyside police arrested a 20-year-old man on 'suspicion of a racially-aggravated public order offense' following a Liverpool match against Oldham. Liverpool is not the only top-flight English soccer team to face allegations of racism. It was the first time Liverpool had played Manchester United since Liverpool's Luis Suarez was suspended and fined for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in October. It was the first time Liverpool had played Manchester United since Liverpool's Luis Suarez was suspended and fined for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in October. Earlier this month, Merseyside police arrested a 20-year-old man on 'suspicion of a racially-aggravated public order offense' following a Liverpool match against Oldham. Charlotte Spink, a press officer for Merseyside police in Liverpool, said the suspect was a 59-year-old from north Wales. She did not name him. He has not been charged. It was the first time Liverpool had played Manchester United since Liverpool's Luis Suarez was suspended and fined for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra in October. The commission found that Suarez 'used insulting words towards Mr. Evra' and that those words 'included a reference to Mr. Evra's color,' the FA statement said. Liverpool issued a statement saying it was 'very surprised and disappointed' with the decision. Suarez did not specify what he said but said it wasn't offensive. The team made a public apology after Oldham defender Tom Adeyemi complained of being abused by Liverpool fans during a January 7 match. Evra said Suarez repeatedly shouted a racial slur at him during the October 15 match and demanded that Suarez be held accountable. Liverpool is not the only top-flight English soccer team to face allegations of racism. Suarez was suspended for eight matches and fined £40,000 ($63,000), England's Football Association announced in December. Police in England arrested a man Saturday on suspicion of making a racially abusive gesture at a high-profile soccer match between Liverpool and Manchester United earlier that day, they said Sunday. Chelsea's John Terry -- who is also captain of the England team -- has been charged by police for allegedly racially abusing Queens Park Rangers player Anton Ferdinand, and will face a court case in February. They appealed to the public to help identify a man who appeared to be making a racist gesture and said Liverpool Football Club was cooperating with the probe. Charlotte Spink, a press officer for Merseyside police in Liverpool, said the suspect was a 59-year-old from north Wales. She did not name him. He has not been charged.

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