Home   Medway   Sport   Article

Gillingham condemn ‘discriminatory and offensive incident’ during match at Priestfield which is being investigated by the Football Association

The Football Association are investigating an incident which saw a spectator at Gillingham arrested on suspicion of a racist offence.

The clip of a supporter confronting a Newport County player has been widely shared across social media and Kent Police confirmed that a 20-year-old man is in custody.

Kent Police arrested a spectator on Saturday following report of racist abuse
Kent Police arrested a spectator on Saturday following report of racist abuse

More: Man pictured appearing to imitate a monkey

Gillingham are already under threat of severe sanctions by the game’s governing body, the FA, following three incidents of abuse last season from supporters.

The club are currently investigating an incident from last week’s match at Priestfield which saw the visiting Notts County goalkeeper struck by an object.

A statement from the FA said: “We strongly condemn the discriminatory and offensive incident involving a spectator during a fixture between Gillingham and Newport County.

“We are investigating the matter and will work with the club and the relevant authorities to ensure the appropriate action is taken.”

Kent Police confirmed a man was arrested on suspicion of a racially-aggravated public order offence.

Gillingham’s interim manager Keith Millen described the incident as “disgusting” and it was the club’s own fans who helped make sure an individual was quickly apprehended.

An immediate lifetime back was issued by the club while the game was still ongoing.

A Gillingham fan appeared to abuse Newport County goalscorer Omar Bogle
A Gillingham fan appeared to abuse Newport County goalscorer Omar Bogle

Gillingham’s director of operations, Joe Comper, said: “I think most people will have seen the clips on social media and I just wanted to reaffirm what action we have taken and our stance on this sort of behaviour.

“One thing that people will see today from the way that we have responded, is that our stance is zero tolerance.

“We are absolutely disgusted, and we are frustrated if I’m honest.

“We have dealt with it within 30 seconds, the person involved was taken and arrested by the police.

“We spent a lot of time dealing with that incident throughout the game to make sure that the person gets dealt with, and dealt with appropriately, that will now be handled by the police.

“Everyone has seen the video and everyone can see what has happened. It’s important that we, as a club, show that we take it very seriously. We dealt with it very quickly and the person was dealt with.

“We put out a statement last week asking for fans to come forward and help us deal with these problems.

“The response from the majority of the Gillingham fans has been really outstanding.

“We have actually been struggling to deal with the number of people who are trying to tell us what happened and that makes me proud to be a Gillingham fan.

“The club is frustrated and are sick of it and actually so are the majority of the fan base that are here.

“They don’t want to see it, they understand the repercussions it can have on the club. The majority of people here are as desperate to stamp it out as we are.

“That actually makes me proud and I am thankful to the fan base.

“It’s not a great look for the club, I’m not happy about it and I do not want these incidents to happen. But actually, most of the people related to Gillingham Football Club, don’t either.

“That was shown today and that’s helped us take action, so I’m thankful to the fans.”

Newport’s Omar Bogle was spoken to by the match official after he celebrated scoring their opening goal infront of the home fans, delaying the restart of the game. Bogle went onto score a second minutes later as the visitors won the game 2-0.

Gillingham’s interim manager Millen said: “It was one person, it is disgusting, it’s just not acceptable, it is one person in a big crowd, luckily the club has identified him, dealt with him quite rightly and he will be banned for life, even that is not enough.

“It is just wrong, that is really not acceptable.

“I do feel sorry for the good Gillingham fans that one person could even think that, why would you? I don’t understand people sometimes.”

Visiting manager Graham Coughlan said of the incident: “It has no place in the game. But, I’ve got to say that, having competed against Gillingham for years, I don’t think that’s representative of this football club.

“It’s a minority and these people don’t represent the club or the fans. That must be stressed; we can’t tarnish the good name of this football club because of one or two mindless idiots.

“They were dealt with by the authorities swiftly and we thank them for that.”

Gillingham director Shannon Galinson also thanked the supporters, the police and stewarding team for their assistance and added: ”There is no place for hatred at Priestfield.”

Gillingham were sanctioned by the FA last month for previous crowd incidents. They were fined £12,500 and ordered to implement an action plan after the club admitted misconduct in relation to the three incidents they were charged with last season.

In line with the action plan, the club have been warning their supporters against the use of discriminatory and other inappropriate behaviour and language through social media, announcements at games and in their matchday programme.

The club had also been warned as to its future conduct.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More