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Police arrest Gillingham man in connection with alleged racially aggravated assault during the match with Lincoln City at Priestfield Stadium

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Gillingham's opening match of the season has been marred by a claim of racism towards a visiting player.

Lincoln City's Cohen Bramall is understood to have made a statement to police about an incident early on in the fixture at Priestfield following a confrontation with spectators in the home end. Police have confirmed a 39-year-old man from Gillingham was arrested in connection with an alleged racially aggravated assault and has been released on bail whilst enquiries continue.

Lincoln City celebrate their eariy goal before a confrontation with spectators Picture: Andy Jones
Lincoln City celebrate their eariy goal before a confrontation with spectators Picture: Andy Jones

The visiting team scored a fourth minute goal and celebrated in front of Gillingham fans, leading to pushing and shoving between the Lincoln players and spectators.

City boss Michael Appleton said after the game that words had been said to his player and a statement to police had been made.

Gillingham's own manager Steve Evans admitted he was unaware of the allegation at the time but said: "All I know is what the match referee told me, he had it reported to him by a Lincoln player that there was a racist comment made by a spectator and Michael repeated that.

"Michael didn't hear it, I didn't hear it, infact I thought someone must have run on the pitch and smacked him. Then the referee made us aware.

"As I said to our chairman, and he repeated it, it has no place in football. No place in Priestfield, it shouldn't be in football.

"If it has been said then it should be dealt with appropriately."

City boss Appleton said: "It is a police incident and they have spoken to Cohen and the referee. They have taken a statement and it is for them to get on with.

"We will back our player 100%."

More: Gillingham 1 Lincoln City 1

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