LONDON: An anti-racism charity has said “hate is alive and well within football,” after incidents were reported during Premier League matches this weekend.
Two supporters were arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order offenses following “discriminatory gestures” at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday.
London’s Metropolitan Police said the two men were ejected from the Burnley section of the ground during the Clarets’ 1-0 defeat.
Meanwhile, two Brentford players reported to police that their family members were racially abused at Goodison Park during their away match with Everton, with the Merseyside club confirming they were working with police.
“There is no place in football — or society — for racism, we are assisting Merseyside Police to ensure the individual is identified and dealt with appropriately,” it said in a statement.
Defender Rico Henry, who scored the winning goal for Brentford in a 3-2 victory, tweeted: “I never usually speak out on things that don’t physically harm me or my family but to see my mom upset after being racially abused by a few Everton fans brought fire to my stomach.”
Ivan Toney also took to Twitter to call out a supporter, whom he alleged was racially abusing his family members, saying: “And for the man that racially abused my family I’ll do everything I can to get you the punishment you deserve!”
Troy Townsend, head of player engagement at charity Kick It Out, praised the swift action of the clubs involved and said he hoped anyone found guilty of using racially aggravated language or gestures would be punished.
“We have been made aware of a spate of new alleged anti-Semitic and racist comments and gestures linked to several clubs over the weekend,” he said.
“While investigations are ongoing, we cannot comment on the specifics of cases, however, the events of the weekend once again highlight the fact that hate is still alive and well within football.
“Everton, Burnley and Tottenham all acted swiftly and we commend their energy in addressing these incidents. We hope appropriate and decisive action is taken against all those involved.”