Solskjaer wants action amid claims United players were racially abused at Etihad
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer called for stern action and education in the wake of “unacceptable” alleged racist abuse aimed at his players during the win at Manchester City.
The Etihad Stadium bore witness to a match as thrilling as it was surprising as United overcame the reigning Premier League champions 2-1 thanks to goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial.
But the Manchester derby also saw disturbing scenes, with City confirming they were “aware of a video circulating on social media which appears to show a supporter making racial gestures”.
The club are “working with Greater Manchester Police in order to help them identify any individuals concerned” after a supporter appeared to make a monkey gesture during a United attack in the second half.
The PA news agency understands that United reported the incident to City and referee Anthony Taylor, with more than one of their players feeling they had abuse of a racist nature aimed at them.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “Fred and Jesse (Lingard) were in the corner, taking a corner, and I’ve seen the video, heard from the boys.
“We keep talking about it every bloody week.
“But he’s been caught on camera. He should, in my opinion, never be allowed into a football ground again and I’ve seen the video. Unacceptable.
“So I am sure that City and the authorities will deal with it.
“As I said, we keep talking about it every week and it doesn’t stop unless it’ll have consequences.”
Asked about Fred’s well-being, Solskjaer said: “It’s affected both him and Jesse, of course. They’re in the corner.
“You’ll see the video if you want to but sometimes you feel sorry for these people.
“I am sure they’ll feel sorry for them as well because it’s an act of ignorance.”
Lingard himself branded the individual’s apparent behaviour “shameful”.
Commenting on Twitter post showing a video of the alleged incident, he wrote: “Not even this idiot can ruin tonight’s feeling, shameful behaviour, it may be the derby but there is never ever a reason to be racist!”
Racism has become an alarmingly frequent topic in football this season.
England’s players were subjected to sickening monkey chants and Nazi salutes in a Euro 2020 qualifier away to Bulgaria in October, leading to a one-match UEFA stadium closure with a further game suspended during a two-year probationary period.
Asked whether similar sanctions should be meted out to City, Solskjaer responded: “Why don’t we educate him instead?
“It’s not City’s fault, it’s his – and that should be educated. That’s my opinion, anyway.
“Nothing to do with Man City as a football club, no.”
Sunday is the one-year anniversary of City’s match at Chelsea, which led to one supporter being permanently banned from Stamford Bridge for the use of racially abusive language and threatening and aggressive behaviour towards Raheem Sterling.
Claims the City forward was racially abused by a member of the crowd were investigated by police but the Crown Prosecution Service ruled there was insufficient evidence to proceed.
Last month City midfielder Bernardo Silva was suspended by the Football Association for one match, fined £50,000 and told to “complete face-to-face education” following a tweet he sent to team-mate Benjamin Mendy. A regulatory commission found the post was not intentionally racist.
The home side reacted swiftly to Saturday’s alleged incident in the derby, making a statement 20 minutes after full-time.
City’s statement read: “Manchester City FC are aware of a video circulating on social media which appears to show a supporter making racial gestures during the second half of the match against Manchester United this evening.
“Officials from the club are working with Greater Manchester Police in order to help them identify any individuals concerned and assist with their enquiries.
“The club are also working with GMP regarding an instance of objects being thrown onto the field of play.
“The club operates a zero tolerance policy regarding discrimination of any kind, and anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life.”
City boss Pep Guardiola backed the club’s stance in the post-match press conference.
“I think support the statement the club has done,” he said. “So, hopefully we are going to solve and hopefully avoid it again and it doesn’t happen again.
“I am pretty sure the club and policemen or whatever are going to take the right decision (for it) to not happen again.
“Of course, it is a battle to fight every day, so unfortunately it happens in many places and hopefully it cannot happen again.”
English football’s equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out said it had been “inundated with reports of alleged racist abuse from a number of individuals” during the game.
It added: “We will be contacting both clubs to offer our support and hope swift action is taken to identify the offenders.”
The Professional Footballers’ Association condemned the alleged abuse, saying on Twitter: “We are disappointed by what appears to be racist abuse from fans at today’s Manchester derby. We welcome this prompt response from Manchester City. Racist abuse is a criminal offence and must be dealt with accordingly.”
The events at the Etihad following an incident of alleged racist abuse by a supporter towards a visiting player at the League Two match between Forest Green and Scunthorpe.