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UK News Man arrested over alleged racist gestures during Manchester derby

18:20  08 december  2019
18:20  08 december  2019 Source:   inews.co.uk

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A man accused of making racist gestures at football players during a match has been arrested, police have said.

A supporter was spotted on live television making what looked like monkey gestures while two Manchester United players were preparing to take a corner, and the footage has since circulated on social media.

Jesse Lingard wearing a red shirt © Provided by The i

Greater Manchester Police said they were called to a report of racist abuse during the Manchester derby on Saturday evening.

A 41-year-old man has now been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated public order.

'Shameful behaviour'

Jesse Lingard, one of the Manchester United players reportedly targeted, tweeted after the match: "Not even this idiot can ruin tonight's feeling."

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He called it "shameful behaviour" and said: "It may be a derby but there is never ever a reason to be racist."

United player Fred, who also appeared to be hit by an object from the crowd, told ESPN Brazil afterwards: "We are still living in a backward society."

Manchester United's Jesse Lingard was targeted with racist abuse (Photo: REUTERS/Phil Noble)

Manchester City said after the match it was working with police to identify those involved and looking into instances of objects being thrown onto the pitch as well.

The club said: "Anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life."

Superintendent Chris Hill of the City of Manchester Division said: “I would like to thank the public for their ongoing support with this incident.

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“Racism of any kind has no place in football or our society," he said. "I hope this arrest shows that we are taking this matter extremely seriously."

'Societal problem'

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Speaking after the match, football pundit and former Manchester United player Gary Neville told viewers racism is not only an issue in football, but is rather a "societal problem".

He criticised the Boris Johnson, the UK prime minister, for fuelling racism with his rhetoric on immigration.

"You're watching the prime minister's debate last night where the prime minister's talking about migration to this country and people coming into this country and having to have a certain level," he said.

"It fuels it [racism] all the time".

Police said the man arrested remains in custody for questioning and they will continue to work with both Manchester United and Manchester City on the incident.

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