Soccer

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Arsenal promise ban for banana thrower

Published 04/03/2013|15:46

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Goalscorer Gareth Bale, top, has been a target for abusive chants by opposing fans

Arsenal have vowed to ban for life the fan who threw a banana at Gareth Bale on Sunday.

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Police confirmed on Monday that they had launched an investigation after an Arsenal supporter threw a banana at Bale as he went to take a corner in the 27th minute of Sunday's north London derby at White Hart Lane, which Tottenham won 2-1.

The Police are examining CCTV footage to see if they can identify the person who aimed the fruit at the Tottenham star. Spurs have also agreed to help the police with their enquiries. Bale is sometimes targeted by opposing fans, who often chant that the player "looks like a chimp".

A Met Police spokesperson said: "Police are investigating after a banana was thrown on to the pitch from the away section of supporters during the Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal match at White Hart Lane on Sunday March 3rd. There have been no arrests. Enquiries continue to try to identify the suspect."

Arsenal and Spurs both warned before the match no anti-social behaviour would be tolerated at what is one of the most heated fixtures in the English football calendar. Arsenal say they operate a zero-tolerance policy towards any such act, and will therefore ban anyone who is found guilty of throwing the banana.

Another point of controversy in Sunday's game came when Emmanuel Adebayor was briefly taunted about the deadly gun attack he survived in Angola.

Meanwhile, Tottenham captain Michael Dawson thinks there is no better player in the world right now than Bale, who scored his 49th goal for the club against the Gunners. The strike was his 20th of a fine season, which has seen him compared to the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.

Some critics, including Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand, claim Bale is not in the same class as Ronaldo, who has scored 33 goals for Madrid this season, and three-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi, but Dawson disagrees.

"Gaz is up there with Ronaldo and Messi in terms of ability - he's one of the best players in the world at the moment, and probably the best in the world for me right now," Dawson said in a promotional interview for Topman.

"Some of the things he does would have Ronaldo blush. His goal this season against Norwich where he picked the ball up in his own half and dribbled past all those players before having the calm and composure to put in the bottom corner... He's been brilliant and credit to him."

Press Association

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