Fan Arrested for Alleged Racial Abuse to Manchester United Players During Derby

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2019

Manchester United's Brazilian midfielder Fred (L) tries to take a corner kick after being pelted with objects from the crowd during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 7, 2019. - Fred was hit by objects thrown from the crowd as he prepared to take a corner in the second half while footage on social media appeared to show a City fan mimicking a monkey at the Brazilian. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
OLI SCARFF/Getty Images

Greater Manchester Police confirmed Sunday a 41-year-old man has been arrested in relation to alleged racist abuse at the Premier League game between Manchester City and Manchester United on Saturday.

Cameras picked up a man who appeared to be making a monkey gesture towards United player Fred. Per Sky News, Red Devils forward Jesse Lingard is also said to have been subject to abuse.

"I would like to thank the public for their ongoing support with this incident," Superintendent Chris Hill said after a man was charged on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence. "Racism of any kind has no place in football or our society, and I hope this arrest shows that we are taking this matter extremely seriously."

Per BBC Sport, City confirmed after the game they were "aware of a video circulating on social media" and would issue a lifetime ban from the Etihad Stadium to "anyone found guilty of racist abuse."

It's added that the Football Association will liaise with the two clubs, the police and the referee on the day, Anthony Taylor.

Speaking to ESPN Brazil, Fred said "unfortunately, we are still in a backward society.

"[It is a shame] we still have to live with that in 2019. On the field, I didn't see anything. I saw it only in the locker room afterwards."

After the game, Marcus Rashford, who opened the scoring for the Red Devils in a 2-1 win, praised the performance of the Brazilian:

Marcus Rashford @MarcusRashford

Unreal performance from @Fred08oficial. Talk about bringing fire to the big occasion 🔥💪🏿🔥

A year ago, City player Raheem Sterling was subject to racist abuse during a match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge; the Blues banned the offender from the stadium for life.

Sterling was also part of the England team that were subject to monkey chants and fascist salutes during the UEFA 2020 European Championship qualifying match in Bulgaria in October.