Saturday 20 January 2018

Liverpool apologise to Adeyemi over fan's racist abuse

Liverpool have issued an apology to Oldham defender Tom Adeyemi, who claims he was racially abused by a Reds supporter during Friday night's FA Cup tie between the sides.

A 20-year-old man arrested on suspicion of racially abusing Adeyemi has been released on bail, Merseyside Police said yesterday. The man, from Aintree, was arrested on Saturday and Liverpool have moved to express their regret over the matter.

A statement from the club read: "Whatever the outcome of what is now a police investigation, all of us are deeply sorry for what happened on Friday night and our players and our club pass on our sincere regrets to Tom Adeyemi for the upset and distress he suffered as a result of the matter at hand."

Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, said he had spoken to Adeyemi about the incident.

"We can confirm that he was the victim of racist abuse," he said.

"This abuse came from a spectator sitting in the Kop section of the ground. Tom has given a full witness statement to the police regarding the incident and will continue to assist the police fully in their enquiries."

Liverpool defended their record on racism and pointed to the ethnic diversity of their own fanbase.

"Our supporters are renowned throughout the world for their outstanding commitment, passion and fairness," the club statement continued.

"They are drawn from nationalities across the globe with widely diverse backgrounds and heritages.

"The actions of any one individual do not represent our fans. Their stance on these issues is just as resolute as the club's.

"We have a very clearly stated public stance on discrimination and intolerance with dedicated staff that work hard daily on programs in this important area.

"Regarding the incident that occurred on Friday evening, we have given Merseyside police every possible assistance we can and will continue to provide the necessary support to their investigation in order to ensure this particular incident is dealt with properly.

"We will continue to take the strongest possible action(s) against unacceptable behaviour during our matches."

The investigation takes place as Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is serving an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.

Meanwhile, Liverpool midfielder Stewart Downing has been arrested on suspicion of assault.

The 27-year-old, who has 32 caps for England, was detained after allegedly hitting his ex-girlfriend in a nightclub fight in Yarm, in the north east of England early on Sunday morning.

Downing and a 32-year-old woman were both arrested on suspicion of assault and remained in police custody yesterday while the investigation continued.

Irish Independent

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