Seven Norwich City fans arrested for racism in past four years

A general view of Carrow Road, Norwich. Photo: Paul Harding

A general view of Carrow Road, Norwich. Photo: Paul Harding - Credit: PA

Seven Norwich City fans were arrested for football-related incidents involving racism in the four seasons up to 2017/18, Home Office data shows.

Figures reveal that police arrested supporters from 85 English clubs for incidents where racism was an aggravating factor between the seasons 2014/15 to 2017/18.

Manchester United fans topped the table with 27 individuals arrested during that period, followed by Leeds and Millwall, who both had 15 supporters detained.

Norwich was one of six clubs that had seven fans arrested during the four seasons - the ninth highest figure during that period, while Ipswich Town had just one fan arrested.

Where racism has been recorded as a feature of an incident it requires the arresting officer to tick a box, which is why the Home Office says the overall accuracy of the data cannot be guaranteed.

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Anti-discrimination body Kick It Out reported last November that there were 520 reports of discriminatory abuse during the 2017-18 season, an 11 pc increase on the previous campaign and the sixth year in a row where the figure had risen.

Fifty-three per cent of those reports concerned alleged racist abuse.

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In response to the Home Office data, obtained by the Press Association, a statement from Kick It Out said: "These figures show racism is a nationwide problem shared by clubs of all different sizes in all parts of the country.

"We support them in challenging racism and other forms of discrimination, and will continue our programme of education in the game to help reduce this problem."

Ben Kensell, Norwich City's chief operating officer, said: "Norwich City Football Club has a zero tolerance policy towards racism and other forms of discrimination. We are committed to ensuring football is free of racist, homophobic or other discriminatory behaviours both on and off the pitch and will continue to take appropriate action to sanction such supporters."

The data shows an overall total of 107 arrests where racism was recorded as a feature during the 2014-15 season, rising to 114 in 2015-16.

The figure then dropped over the next two seasons, with 94 arrests recorded in 2016-17 and just 75 in 2017-18.

A Manchester United spokesman said: "There is no place for racism within our game, or in society as a whole, and we are committed to working to make football free from all forms of discrimination, whether through our own 'All Red All Equal' campaign or in support of Kick It Out and other organisations."

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