7 Jan 2012

Liverpool FC in new racism row

Liverpool Football Club is embroiled in a new racism row as both the club and Merseyside Police investigate reports that an Oldham player was racially abused during Friday’s FA Cup tie.

Merseyside Police and Liverpool Football Club investigate racial abuse during FA Cup tie with Oldham (Image: Reuters)

The game was halted after Oldham’s full-back Tom Adeyemi was left close to tears after apparently hearing an abusive shout from a spectator in the Kop at Anfield.

Police are trawling through CCTV after Mr Adeyemi was allegedly abused by fans during an FA Cup game against Liverpool.

Officers are likely to be taking witness statements as well as interviewing the defender.

I said yes you should speak to the police and take it as far as you can because these kind of incidents should be eradicated from football grounds – it’s just not acceptable. Reuben Hazell, friend and Shewsbury player

Shewsbury player Reuben Hazell, a friend of Mr Adeyemi’s, was at the game and spoke to him after the event, as he described on Twitter.

Mr Hazell told Channel 4 News: “He said there was racist abuse – he was asking advice really about what – about whether he should go and carry it on with the police.

“I think the police wanted to speak to him. So I, me and a few others around him said yes you should speak to the police and take it as far as you can because these kind of incidents should be eradicated from football grounds – it’s just not acceptable.”

Late in the FA Cup third-round fixture, the 20-year-old, on loan from Norwich, appeared to take offence at something shouted from the Kop.

Despite reassurance from his team-mates and Liverpool players Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard, the right-back seemed close to tears.

There then appeared to be discussion between the fourth official and a police officer down by the tunnel while the match was continuing.

A police spokesman said: “Merseyside Police can confirm that no one has been arrested this evening, Friday 6 January, on suspicion of racially aggravated behaviour during tonight’s FA Cup fixture at Anfield.

“However the force and Liverpool Football Club are investigating following an incident that occurred during the second half of the game.

“The aim of the investigation is to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident to ascertain if any action needs to be taken.”

Liverpool, who won the match 5-1, said they are also investigating the incident.

“An incident occurred in the second half of the match which is now being investigated by both the club and the police,” said a statement issued by the club.

Read more: FA takes moral stand against casual racism

“We will continue to work with the police to establish the details of what actually happened and will make a further statement in due course.”

Last night, Oldham manager Paul Dickov said: “From my point of view I have not spoken to Tom about it but I know the kid and something has been said.

“He is a placid boy, a kid who has been well-educated with a fantastic temperament and has been with us since the end of August and I’ve never seen him raise his voice.

“For him to react like that it is obvious something has been said but what has been said I don’t know because I’ve not had a chance (to ask) – I was too busy praising my players.

“He is fine now. He has calmed down. He is a laid-back kid who just gets on with business.

“Our players went and calmed him down and the Liverpool players did as well, which was fantastic and is why they are top professionals.”

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