The English Football League is “saddened, disappointed and angered” by instances of alleged racist abuse towards several players this weekend.
Brentford said they “utterly condemn discrimination” after a season-ticket holder was arrested following a claim of abuse by Derby midfielder Duane Holmes, while Wigan have reported a sickening message sent to wing-back Nathan Byrne on social media to the police.
Northampton have also revealed that several of their first-team squad were allegedly abused ahead of their game at Notts County as they went on a pre-match walk from the team hotel before the Sky Bet League Two game at Meadow Lane.
The EFL said in a statement: “The EFL was saddened, disappointed and angered to hear of further reports of alleged racism following the conclusion of some matches on Saturday afternoon.
“It was exceptionally disappointing that this happened as clubs up and down the country were raising awareness of such issues as part of Kick it Out’s Week of Action.
“We remain fully committed to continuing to work alongside The FA and Premier League as well as other relevant parties to ensure that football provides a welcoming environment for supporters attending matches and those participating in them.
“We cannot, and will not, accept this type of behaviour inside our stadiums, as we know our clubs won’t.”
Holmes, 24, was substituted in the 74th minute against Brentford, with the incident occurring nine minutes after the Bees’ third equaliser in the 3-3 draw at Griffin Park.
A statement on the Brentford website read: “Brentford Football Club can confirm that a season-ticket holder was arrested following today’s game against Derby County.
“The man in question has been accused of committing a racially-aggravated public order offence in the later stages of today’s game. He was identified at the time, removed from the ground and subsequently arrested.
“Brentford FC will continue to liaise with the Metropolitan Police, who will now investigate the incident.
We are angered by the racist abuse of our player Nathan Byrne on social media tonight.— Wigan Athletic (@LaticsOfficial) April 6, 2019
“The club utterly condemns discrimination of any kind. It is abhorrent and has no place in society and we are determined to drive it out of Griffin Park.”
Rams manager Frank Lampard added: “Obviously Duane’s upset with the situation. It’s not what we want to see in life, not just in football.”
Metropolitan Police confirmed in a tweet that a man was in custody and an investigation was ongoing.
Wigan’s Byrne posted a screenshot on his Twitter account of a sickening message he received following the Latics’ 2-2 draw with Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
Went for a pre match walk with the team in Nottingham and this young man outside the hotel started racially abusing some of our lads. The most disgusting thing I’ve seen&heard! He’s done it in front of his girl as well with no shame so he must do it all the time. Absolute idiot!— Timi Max Elsnik (@Timi_Elsnik) April 6, 2019
In a statement, Wigan said: “Wigan Athletic Football Club are angered by racist abuse received on the personal Twitter account of one of our players, Nathan Byrne, on Saturday afternoon.
“We have reported the incident to the police and will work with the relevant authorities to assist them with their investigations.
“There is no place for discrimination in society and social media is not an exception to those rules. We find this behaviour abhorrent.”
On Saturday evening, Northampton pair Timi Elsnik and David Buchanan highlighted the alleged abuse several of their team-mates had suffered before their 2-2 draw at Notts County.
Today I witnessed racial abuse to some of our players in the @Village_Hotels in Nottingham! Can’t believe we still have scum like this in 2019! Credit to our boys who handle it impeccably. #kickitout#team@efl@thepfa 😡😡— David Buchanan (@_Buchs) April 6, 2019
A statement from the club corroborated the duo, saying: “Northampton Town Football Club confirm that a number of the first-team squad were racially abused ahead of Saturday’s game at Notts County.
“The incident occurred in Nottingham as the squad went on their normal pre-match walk from the team hotel before the game.
“We would like to highly commend our players for the professional manner in which they handled the situation and as a club we stand together in condemning such actions.
“We are working with the relevant authorities and have asked anyone with any information about the incident, or possible witnesses, to contact the club.”
Kick It Out also released a statement on Twitter condemning the latest incidents.
It read: “Another week, another group of players racially abused.
“We won’t stop highlighting this disgraceful behaviour while it remains deeply ingrained within football. We’ll be liaising with the relevant authorities and offering support to clubs and players involved.”
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