Sport Soccer

Monday 19 March 2018

Police probe claim of racist abuse at Sunderland-Newcastle derby

Tom Wilkinson

Police are investigating an allegation of racist abuse during the bitter Premier League derby between Sunderland and Newcastle United.

The match, in which Sunderland fans were heard to sing they wished Newcastle United's Steven Taylor was dead, resulted in 15 arrests from a crowd of almost 50,000.

Northumbria Police said there were "very few" incidents inside the stadium during yesterday's 1-1 draw and praised the majority of spectators for their behaviour.

Taylor had been outspoken in the build-up about the rivalry between the two clubs.

A police spokesman said: "There was one report of racist language having been used by a supporter in one area of the stadium - enquiries into this report are ongoing."

Six of the 15 arrests were made at 5am yesterday in a pre-planned operation.

Police said they seized cocaine and ecstasy when they arrested the six people in the Durham and Gateshead areas.

The four males aged 49, 44, 19, 16 and two females aged 41 and 15 were being held in custody on suspicion of drugs offences and inquiries are ongoing.

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