Football hate crime soars in England
LONDON (AFP) — Hate crime reports at football matches in England and Wales rose by almost 50 percent during the 2018/19 season compared to the previous campaign, government figures showed on Thursday.
Incidents of hate crime were reported at 193 matches between August 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019, a 47 percent rise from 131 matches the year before.
The government report said that of those incidents, 79 percent related to race. It stated that the increase could be due to improvements in recording the data.
Overall football-related arrests dropped by 10 percent to 1,381.
A spate of incidents marred matches last season.
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling was the victim of alleged racist abuse in a match at Chelsea while Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a banana skin thrown at him by a Tottenham fan.
Deputy Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs Council football policing lead, said in a statement to the Press Association: “Hate crime is on the rise, and this reflects some of the high-profile incidents reported over the past season.
Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, right, celebrates with his teammates after Arsenal’s Joe Willock, second right, scores his side’s opening goal during the Europa League Group F soccer match between Eintracht Frankfurt and Arsenal in the Commerzbank Arena in Frankfurt, Germany, Thursday.