Man arrested and Leeds United investigating racist incidents at Elland Road - Angus Kinnear vows strongest possible action

Leeds United managing director Angus Kinnear has vowed to take the strongest possible action to stamp out racism at Elland Road after a spate of isolated incidents.

Thursday, 29th August 2019, 4:44 pm
There were two separate allegations of racist abuse at Elland Road on Tuesday night when Stoke visited (Pic: Getty)

A supporter in the South Stand was arrested on Tuesday when Stoke visited in the Carabao Cup and has already been banned by the club.

Leeds are also investigating a separate allegation of racist abuse directed towards a Stoke player from the West Stand.

And video footage seen by the YEP shows another Leeds fan, again in the South Stand, shouting racial slurs at a Nottingham Forest player during the game on 10th August.

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The Whites are also looking into that incident and the Kick it Out campaign are aware.

Managing director Angus Kinnear told the YEP that the club will pass evidence of racist abuse to the authorities and do whatever they can to eradicate the issue at the ground.

He said: "We are bitterly disappointed by the reports of racist behaviour this week and supporters can rest assured that they are being investigated thoroughly, all acts of racism will be met with the strongest possible penalties and evidence will be handed to the authorities.

"We will continue to work with the EFL, FA, Kick it Out and our fan base to ensure everyone feels included at Elland Road."

A supporter witnessed the police dealing with one of Tuesday night's incidents and says that while racism isn't as prevalent as the 1980s it still exists at Elland Road.

The man, who has asked to remain nameless, said: "I stood and watched it, a lad was clearly making a claim of racism against another person and I could see the police were dealing with it properly so I just went.

"I've been going to Leeds games since the 80s and I stopped going for three years because of the racism.

"It put me off. I was spat on in the Kop, racially abused.

"It's still there but it's nowhere near as prevalent as it was. You hear stuff, I'm aware there's certain things going on but I feel totally safe, I enjoy going there."

A police spokesperson confirmed a man was arrested during the game.

"Police within the stadium became aware of a report of a racially aggravated public order offence on Tuesday night," said the spokesperson.

"A 21-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of the offence and has been released without charge. Enquiries into this incident remain ongoing.

"Subsequent to that officers have been made aware of an allegation of racist chants – also within the stadium on Tuesday night. Enquiries remain ongoing."

Earlier this year Home Office arrest figures revealed that over the seasons between 2014/15 and 2017/18, 15 Leeds fans were arrested for racism-related offences.

The YEP understands that any proven allegation of racist behaviour at the ground will lead to a permanent ban.

The club has urged supporters to report incidents via their matchday text service.

A spokesperson said: "Any supporters who experience any acts of racism should contact us immediately using our matchday incident text service on 07887 514789 or by emailing [email protected]"

Fans can also report incidents to Kick it Out, who say racial discrimination in football is on the up.

A spokesperson said: "“Racism and discrimination continues to cast a dark shadow over football in this country. Everyone involved in football has a responsibility to tackle discrimination and make the game welcome to all, regardless of their background.

“Our statistics show that incidents of discrimination in the game are on the rise, and we will continue to work with the police, clubs and the football bodies to challenge the issue. Fans play a vital role too and we urge anyone who hears or witnesses discrimination at a match to report it to us via our website, app or email on [email protected]