• Egyptian targeted in video taken during Liverpool draw
• Police say they are reviewing footage of incident
The Metropolitan Police and West Ham United are investigating a video in which a supporter can apparently be heard aiming Islamophobic abuse at Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah at the London Stadium on Monday night.
The incident was captured in a video posted on Twitter and the alleged abuse appeared to occur as Salah took a corner for Liverpool during the first half of his team’s 1-1 draw away to West Ham in the Premier League. In the footage, recorded in a home area of the ground, someone is heard shouting “Salah, you fucking Muslim, fucking Muslim cunt” at the Egyptian forward.
Kick It Out, football’s anti discrimination charity, expressed its dismay at “yet another high-profile incident of discrimination in English football”, while the Met said they were aware of the video and were in the process of reviewing the footage. “No arrests have been made and enquiries continue,” a statement added. “Anyone who witnesses inappropriate behaviour during a match is urged to bring it to the attention of a steward or police officer.”
West Ham are examining the ground’s CCTV footage and are working with the police as they attempt to identify the perpetrator. The club has vowed to take firm action against anyone found guilty of racial abuse.
A West Ham United spokesperson said: “At West Ham United, we have a zero tolerance policy to any form of violent or abusive behaviour. We are an inclusive football club. Regardless of age, race, religion or belief, marriage or civil partnership, pregnancy or maternity, sex, sexual orientation, gender reassignment or disability, everyone is warmly welcomed at London Stadium.
“Anyone identified committing an offence will have their details passed to the police and will face a lifetime ban from London Stadium. There is no place for this kind of behaviour at our stadium.”
English football has been plagued by several racism controversies this season. In December a Chelsea fan was accused of aiming racial abuse at Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling at Stamford Bridge and a Tottenham fan was arrested after throwing a banana skin at Arsenal’s Pierre-Aubameyang at the Emirates Stadium, while The Football Association is also investigating of reports of racist chanting from Millwall fans during the south London club’s FA Cup win over Everton last month.
Kick it Out added: “We are pleased that West Ham officials have already expressed their determination to identify the supporter and take firm action – this type of behaviour is simply unacceptable and must be challenged swiftly and decisively.”
Courtesy: The Guardian