Online racist abuse of Norwich City manager Chris Hughton sparks police investigation

Norwich Manager Chris Hughton during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London, on Saturday. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Norwich Manager Chris Hughton during the Barclays Premier League match at the Emirates Stadium, London, on Saturday. Picture by Paul Chesterton/Focus Images

Monday, October 21, 2013
1:18 PM

A police investigation was under way today after Norwich City manager Chris Hughton was the subject of vile racist abuse.

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The offensive remark, which we are choosing not to repeat, was left on a Norwich City FC Fan Club Facebook page following the club’s 4-1 defeat on Saturday.

It was later removed following a storm of protest from Norwich city fans on the site. It is the second time this month the manager has been subjected to racist abuse on social media.

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Following the latest incident, one fan who emailed police about the message said officers called at his house within an hour to investigate, and said they had been contacted by a number of other fans. The man, who has supported Norwich City for 55 years but asked not to be named, said that while debate on the site can get “terse”, he had not seen racist language before.

He added: “To be quite honest, I could not believe that someone had written something like that. I found it disgusting, absolutely disgusting.”

Another City fan, Matt Crowhurst, said: “I was absolutely appalled to read a comment like that, especially considering the high profile on racial comments in football at the moment. No matter what you think of the result, or the manager himself, there is no place for any language like that.

“Having three children myself I think it is important to show them that type of language isn’t acceptable.

“One good thing to come out of this is the way that everyone on the Facebook group, regardless of how unhappy they were with both the result, and for some, the manager, quickly rounded on the poster telling him in no uncertain terms that what he had posted was inexcusable. Many reported him to both the police and the club.”

In a comment later posted on his personal Facebook page, the person who made the original comment wrote: “The Norwich Fan Club group members are going absolutely mental at me now, threatening to report me to the Polizei. Knee-jerk reaction much?”

A spokesman for Norfolk police said: “We can confirm that we have received reports of a racist remark posted on a Norwich City fan club site and police are investigating. The comment has since been taken down from the site.

“Norfolk Constabulary takes any incident of hate crime very seriously. No incident is seen as trivial, and any report is investigated thoroughly.

“Norwich City Football Club has been informed.”

Earlier this month police confirmed they were investigating a separate report of racist abuse targeting the Norwich manager on a Facebook page called **OFFICIAL**!!! Ipswich-Norwich fans banter/insult/joke page, which is not officially connected to either club.

Mr Hughton said at the time he was “hurt and angry” by the personal attack, adding: “It’s very disappointing and sad. People are working very hard to make sure this type of abuse doesn’t exist.

“But it is still something that I should not have to be dealing with in this day and age.”

Norwich players James Vaughan, now at Huddersfield, and Sebastien Bassong, have also been subjected to racist abuse in the past. The fan behind the abuse of James Vaughan was subsequently banned for life.

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