Arrest after 'monkey chant'

5:39pm Wednesday 28th November 2012

By Mark Tallentire

A MAN has been arrested after a football fan appeared to make a monkey gesture at a black player during a match.

A photograph taken by the North News agency during Saturday’s match between the Black Cats and West Bromwich Albion appears to show a man in a grey top imitating a monkey.

The signal appears to be directed at Belgium international Romelu Lukaku, who is seen celebrating after scoring his side’s third goal in the televised 4-2 Premier League win.

The supporter is in the Stadium of Light’s North Stand.

On Monday, Northumbria Police confirmed on Saturday night it had received a report of racial abuse arising from the match.

Today (November 28), officers arrested a 21-year-old man on suspicion of racial or religious aggravated intentional harassment.

The man was later bailed pending further enquiries.

A spokesman for Sunderland AFC said: “SAFC operates a policy of zero tolerance towards racism and anti-social behaviour of any kind and naturally we will co-operate with the police in fully investigating any such incidents.”

Ged Grebby, of Show Racism the Red Card, said: “This kind of gesture at football matches is a thing we never thought we’d see again. If anyone is guilty of this they could be looking at a three-year ban.

“When people do these kind of things we have to have action against them and if they are found guilty then we will be asking the club to ban them.”

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