Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: FA Vow to Act on Vile Chants; Duo Arrested after Mido Subjected to Racist Taunts

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Football: FA Vow to Act on Vile Chants; Duo Arrested after Mido Subjected to Racist Taunts

Article excerpt

THE Football Association have vowed to "take the strongest possible action" against anyone found guilty of Islamophobic or racist chanting against Middlesbrough striker Mido, writes JIM VAN WIJK.

The Egyptian striker was targeted by Newcastle fans as he warmed up in the Tees-Tyne derby at the Riverside Stadium last weekend, and has called on the game's governing body to take stern measures.

Mido suffered similar abuse during Newcastle's last visit to Boro a year ago, but an FA investigation then did not result in any banning orders due to difficulties in identifying culprits.

However, two men, aged 49 and 23, have been arrested and will appear before Teesside Magistrates' Court on December 9 charged with racial chanting.

A Middlesbrough spokesman said: "Middlesbrough FC has a very strong anti-racism stance. The club adopts a zero-tolerance attitude towards racism and, working with the police, we will not hesitate to ban supporters identified as directing racial abuse against players or other fans, as we have in the past.

"Middlesbrough Police have confirmed that two individuals were arrested at the game for racial chanting and have been given a court date."

The FA earlier insisted that, with the help of both clubs, everything is being done to single out any guilty supporters and sanctions will be imposed where possible.

"We condemn any racist or Islamophobic behaviour and are committed to working with our clubs and the police to stamp it out," a spokesman for the FA said.

"We have an on-going investigation into the incidents on Saturday and are awaiting reports from Middlesbrough and Newcastle United.

"As always, the priority is to identify the individuals involved and take the strongest possible action against them.

We fully support banning orders for anyone convicted of racist chanting."

The incident has been condemned by the anti-racist 'Kick it Out' campaign, and Mido maintains "serious action" must now be taken, but feels nothing at all could happen. …

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