Brighton & Hove Albion release statement following arrest for racist language
Brighton & Hove Albion have released a statement following arrests made at their Championship fixture against Birmingham City on Saturday 21 February.
The statement on Brighton’s official website read:
“Brighton & Hove Albion can confirm two arrests were made at yesterday’s match against Birmingham City: one on suspicion of use of racist language, in relation to an historic offence; and one for throwing a smoke bomb onto the pitch from the away end.
The arrest on suspicion of use of racist language was made after a complaint and subsequent statement was made to the club on Saturday morning that racist language was used prior to a previous home match, by an individual watching a televised match in the stadium concourse.
The suspect was identified by the club’s CCTV staff and stewards, before being ejected from the stadium and handed over to Sussex Police.
The club has a zero tolerance approach on all forms of discrimination and fans found guilty of such offences at home matches, away matches, when travelling to and from our fixtures or any club event, can expect a lengthy or indefinite ban from all Albion fixtures.
Chief executive Paul Barber commented, “We pride ourselves on welcoming everyone at Brighton & Hove Albion and we simply will not tolerate any kind of xenophobic behaviour. We expect our fans to conduct themselves in a manner befitting to our club – and I am pleased that the vast majority are a credit to us.
“I applaud the supporter who came forward to report the incident, and would encourage any fan witnessing this type of behaviour to do likewise. Supporters can rest assured their information will be treated with the utmost discretion, that we will fully investigate all complaints of this nature and we will act accordingly.
“I also applaud our safety and stewarding team for the swift actions, following yesterday’s complaint, in identifying the suspected individual; they will continue to assist Sussex Police in their investigation.”
Meanwhile, Barber has also praised the club’s safety and stewarding team, St John’s Ambulance and SECAMB medics, and club crowd doctor Rob Galloway, after their actions saved the life of a 73-year-old supporter, who had suffered a cardiac arrest after complaining of chest pains at the match.
Stewards and medical staff used defibrillators and CPR to revive the patient after his heart stopped for an astonishing 15 minutes – and he was eventually transferred to Brighton Hospital.
He added, “There is no doubt that the actions of the club stewards, St John’s Ambulance and SECAMB staff and our crowd doctor Rob Galloway saved the life of the gentleman in question.
“It is not the first time Rob and his team have saved the life of a supporter at the stadium. The professionalism of the safety and medical staff and their record of saving lives is astonishing.”