Arrest over Manchester derby racism claim

Manchester United's Fred (c) was hit by a projectile thrown from the crowd at the Etihad Stadium.
Manchester United's Fred (c) was hit by a projectile thrown from the crowd at the Etihad Stadium.

A 41-year-old man has been arrested in connection with the allegations of racist abuse by a Manchester City supporter during Saturday's derby at Etihad Stadium.

The man has been named in reports as Anthony Burke, who, according to his since-removed Facebook page, works for the construction company Kier Group.

Having tweeted on Saturday evening to say they were aware of a video circulating on social media appearing to show a fan aiming monkey chants towards Manchester United players during the Red Devils' 2-1 victory, Kier tweeted on Sunday that an employee has been suspended "pending an investigation."

City swiftly issued a statement after the match saying the club was working with Greater Manchester Police, who announced on Sunday morning that "a 41-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order and remains in custody for questioning."

The Football Association will also investigate and is planning to talk to the clubs, referee Anthony Taylor, the police and other relevant parties.

United reported the incident to City and Taylor, with more than one of their players feeling they had abuse of a racist nature aimed at them.

In particular, United midfielder Fred went to take a corner in the second half and appeared to be hit by an object hurled from the crowd.

He said the alleged incident showed "we are still in a backward society".

City said in a statement they are working with police in order to identify any individuals concerned and hold "a zero tolerance policy regarding discrimination of any kind, and anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life."

United later also took to social media with a tweet involving some of their players.

It read: "Racism has no place in football or in society & we are providing support to our players who were impacted yesterday. We will continue to combat & educate against racism & discrimination, both through our own (hash)allredallequal initiative & our support of football-wide campaigns."

Australian Associated Press