The Gunners say any fan using racist language is “not welcome” and that they will be banned from matches
Aaron Ramsey’s strike and Kalidou Koulibaly’s own goal earned Arsenal a 2-0 home win against Napoli in the first leg of their Europa League quarter-final. Ramsey finished off a stunning move to open the scoring and Lucas Torreira’s drive deflected in off Koulibaly to double Arsenal’s advantage before the break at Emirates Stadium on Thursday. Serie A side Napoli struggled to impose themselves on the contest, although Lorenzo Insigne and Piotr Zielinski had big opportunities, and Carlo Ancelotti’s men have work to do in next week’s return. Arsenal have launched an investigation with alleged Koulibaly racist abuse during Europa League tie.
Arsenal have launched an investigation after a video appeared on social media appearing to show a fan aiming racist abuse at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly during Thursday night’s Europa League quarter-final. The incident took place during the first half of the 2-0 win in north London after Koulibaly had cleared a corner that had been swung in by Lucas Torreira. Arsenal are now working to identify the supporter shown in the 15-second clip and say that anyone caught using racist language will be banned from games and that they are not welcome at the club. A statement released by the Gunners said: “We utterly condemn the use of any racist language and have launched an investigation to identify the culprit. “We operate a zero tolerance approach and anyone behaving like this is not welcome at Arsenal and will be banned from matches. We have an extremely diverse community of fans who are all part of the Arsenal family and such incidents are rare at Emirates Stadium. We encourage supporters to report any incidents as they happen to stewards or via our matchday alert service.”
The incident came on the same night that a video emerged appearing to show some Chelsea fans calling Liverpool star Mohamed Salah “a bomber” ahead of their Europa League quarter-final at Slavia Prague. Chelsea say they will also look to ban their supporters if they can identify them and establish for certain that it happened in Prague ahead of the match, as suspected. A statement read: “Chelsea FC finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour abhorrent and where there is clear evidence of Chelsea season ticket holders or members involved in such behaviour, we will take the strongest possible action against them. “Such individuals are an embarrassment to the vast majority of Chelsea supporters who won’t tolerate them in their club.”
It’s time when the football governing body and fans take racism seriously. There is no room for racism in football and in any area of society. Football is a game for everyone.