• Premier League

Fan arrested for alleged Lukaku abuse

ESPN staff
November 28, 2012
Romelu Lukaku scored West Brom's third at Sunderland © PA Photos

A Sunderland fan has been arrested for his alleged racist abuse of West Brom striker Romelu Lukaku during the Baggies' 4-2 win at the Stadium of Light on Saturday, according to the Sunderland Echo.

Northumbria Police have arrested a 21-year old man on suspicion of racially or religiously aggravated intentional harassment. The arrest took place 24 hours after an investigation was launched on Tuesday.

The arrested individual is shown to be mimicking a monkey in a photograph as Lukaku celebrated scoring his side's third goal at the Stadium of Light. Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

A spokeswoman for Northumbria Police said: "Police are carrying out inquiries after a report of racist abuse at the Sunderland v West Bromwich Albion match on Saturday. The report was received at 10.10pm on Saturday, November 24."

A spokesman for Sunderland said: "SAFC operates a policy of zero tolerance towards racism and anti-social behaviour of any kind and naturally we will co-operate with the police fully in investigating any such incidents."

West Brom manager Steve Clarke was criticial of the incident after the photo emerged on Sunday.

"There should be no place in the game, or in any walk of life, for some of the things that have transpired within stadiums over the weekend," he said. "The authorities are now looking into the incident at Sunderland and Romelu has our full support."

Clarke was also referring to the behaviour of fans of his former club West Ham during the match at Tottenham on Sunday. Some Hammers fans were heard singing anti-semitic chants.

The Lukaku incident comes less than a month after Chelsea supporter Gavin Kirkham was banned from Stamford Bridge for appearing to make a similar gesture at Manchester United striker Danny Welbeck, in a Capital One Cup tie.

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