Three Brighton & Hove Albion supporters are facing a ban from football, as well as potential criminal charges, as a result of incidents of racism during recent home matches.
The bans are based on two separate incidents that both occurred at the Amex Stadium this season. The club said that both incidents “were reported directly by fellow Albion fans attending”.
It comes just days after footage emerged on social media showing a group of Aston Villa fans taking part in a racist chant aimed at midfielder Marvelous Nakamba, which also referenced his team-mate John McGinn, during Saturday’s match against Norwich City at Carrow Road.
“Aston Villa is disgusted and appalled by footage circulating on social media of supporters chanting a racist song which makes reference to two of our first team players,” read a statement.
“The club wholly condemns the chant and urges other supporters to help us identify those responsible.”
According to Brighton, both incidents remain ongoing police investigations, with the club urging fans to continue to report abuse if witnessed in the stadium. They said: “We would urge any fans confronted with similar discriminatory behaviour to report it immediately, either directly to a steward or via our anonymous hotline, and we will take strong action.”
Chief Executive Paul Barber commented: “It’s very hard to comprehend why some individuals think it’s acceptable to behave in this way, but we are very clear that neither Brighton & Hove Albion, nor the wider football community, will tolerate racism or discrimination at any time, in any form.”
📝 Three Albion fans are facing lengthy bans and potential criminal charges, following two separate incidents of racism during recent matches at the Amex.#BHAFC 🔵⚪️— Brighton & Hove Albion ⚽️ (@OfficialBHAFC) October 8, 2019
Brighton statement in full:
“The first incident involved two individuals attending the under-23 fixture against Tottenham Hotspur on Friday 27th September. They were ejected from the stadium and their details have been passed to Sussex Police for further investigation.
“The second incident occurred at Saturday’s home fixture against Spurs in the Premier League, and the individual concerned was ejected by club stewards and arrested by police on his exit from the stadium.
“Both incidents were reported directly to the club by fellow Albion fans attending the respective matches.
“Chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber commented, ‘It’s very hard to comprehend why some individuals think it’s acceptable to behave in this way, but we are very clear that neither Brighton & Hove Albion, nor the wider football community, will tolerate racism or discrimination at any time, in any form’.
“It is very encouraging that in both incidents our stewards were alerted to this totally unacceptable behaviour by other Albion fans and, working with Sussex Police, our staff were able to take swift action, which hopefully will increase the chances of a conviction.
“We do not want people exhibiting any kind of discriminatory or anti-social behaviour inside our stadium, and I would like to thank those Albion fans for reporting the incidents to us as soon as they heard it.
“We would urge any fans confronted with similar discriminatory behaviour to report it immediately, either directly to a steward or via our anonymous hotline, and we will take strong action.”
Both incidents are open investigations with Sussex Police, so at this stage the club will not be making any further comment.
More to follow.
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