New race row at Liverpool as police probe claims Oldham youngster Adeyemi was abused
Liverpool were plunged into a fresh race storm on Friday night when a supporter was alleged to have racially abused Oldham player Tom Adeyemi.
The incident took place 10 minutes from the end of the FA Cup third-round tie at Anfield, which Liverpool won 5-1.
A police investigation is under way after Adeyemi, 20, was allegedly called a f****** black b******.
Adeyemi, who is on loan from Norwich City, was in tears and needed to be consoled by Liverpool players including Steven Gerrard.
A section of the crowd at Liverpool's Kop end appear to taunt Adeyemi. It is not known which Liverpool fans caused the player to make his complaint of racial abuse
Flashpoint: Adeyemi reacts with disgust after alleged abuse was directed at him
The latest incident comes at the end of a week when Liverpool accepted an eight-game ban for Luis Suarez after the striker was found guilty of racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a 1-1 draw at Anfield in October.
Pointed out: Dean Furman (right) helps get the referee's attention
The Reds have been heavily criticised for their response to the Suarez row with manager Kenny Dalglish standing by his player throughout and the forward issuing an apology but not saying sorry to Evra.
The Anfield boss and his players were also slammed for wearing T-shirts with a picture of Suarez before a recent match against Wigan as they continued to back the forward.
A witness who gave evidence to Liverpool officials and the police after Friday night's tie was quoted by the Guardian as saying: 'I was to the right of the Kop and the No11 turned to walk away after a tackle.
Holding back: Liverpool's Dirk Kuyt tries to calm Adeyemi after the incident
'I heard a single voice shout, 'You f****** black *******.' He spun round with shock on his face and started pointing at the crowd, from where the shout had come.'
Though officers moved into the area of the Kop where the alleged
incident took place, no arrests were made but Merseyside Police have
said that they are making enquiries.
A statement said: ‘Merseyside police can confirm that no one has been
arrested this evening (Friday, January 6) on suspicion of racially
aggravated behaviour during tonight’s FA Cup fixture at Anfield.
‘However, the force and Liverpool Football Club are investigating
following an incident that occurred during the second half of the game.
The aim of the investigation is to establish the full circumstances
surrounding the incident to ascertain if any action needs to be taken.’
That's him: Adeyaemi points out the culprit while Latics manager Paul Dickov looks on (below)
A Liverpool statement said: ‘An incident occurred in the second half of
the match which is now being investigated by both the club and the
police. We will continue to work closely with the police to establish
the details of what actually happened and will make a further statement
in due course.’
Two fans who appeared to be at the centre of the incident had been animated all evening.
Adeyemi, who conceded the penalty on the stroke of half-time which put
Liverpool 2-1 up, was told he could not speak to the media after the
game but an eyewitness, who gave evidence to Liverpool and the
authorities, gave his version of events.
He said: ‘I was to the right of the Kop and the No 11 turned to walk
away after a tackle. I heard a single voice shout out racist abuse and
the player spun round with shock on his face.’
Calm down: Gerrard intervenes while a sign at Anfield clearly states the rules
Oldham manager Paul Dickov refused to elaborate on what had happened
during the match but gave an insight into how Adeyemi was feeling.
Dickov said: ‘I have not spoken to Tom about it. What I will say is he
is a placid boy, he has been well educated. He has been with us since
the end of August and I’ve never heard him raise his voice. ‘For him to
react like that it’s obvious something has been said. What’s been said, I
Pointing the finger: Adeyemi reacts
Earlier in the day, Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson dismissed
Liverpool’s calls for peace talks over the Suarez race row ahead of
what promises to be an explosive game at Old Trafford on February 11.
Liverpool revealed on Thursday that they want to hold talks with United
to defuse fan tension but Ferguson reacted with incredulity.
‘Nice to do it through the press,’ he said. ‘You’d have thought they
would have come to Manchester United. But I don’t see why there is any
need for that, to be honest.’