Arsenal launch investigation over racist abuse of Man United’s target player

By Mirror: Friday, April 12th 2019 at 17:51 GMT +3 | Football
Europa League Quarter Final First Leg - Arsenal v Napoli - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - April 11, 2019 Arsenal's Aaron Ramsey celebrates scoring their first goal with Sead Kolasinac and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. [Reuters]

Arsenal have launched an investigation into a video posted on social media which a supporter can be heard aiming racist abuse at Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.

The video was posted on Snapchat during Thursday night's 2-0 Europa League quarter-final win, in which Senegal international Koulibaly played the full 90 minutes.

The culprit can be heard using the N-word to refer to the Napoli defender, with the word also written across the screen for part of the 15-second recording.

The Gunners say that they "utterly condemn" the language used.

An Arsenal statement declared: "We utterly condemn use of this type of racist language and have launched an investigation to identify the culprit.

“We operate a zero tolerance approach, and anyone behaving like this is not welcome at Arsenal and will be banned from matches.

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“We have an extremely diverse community of fans who are all part of the Arsenal family and such incidents are rare at Emirates Stadium.

“We encourage supporters to report any incidents as they happen to stewards or via our matchday alert service.”

Kalidou Koulibaly's Napoli will look to overturn a two-goal lead on home soil. [Courtesy]

The incident comes just four months after Koulibaly was subjected to monkey chants by Inter Milan supporters.

The crowd at San Siro on Boxing Day were told over the stadium's public address system on a number of occasions to stop, but ignored those requests.

Nor is it the first time Arsenal have conduced an investigation into the actions of their supporters this season; Crystal Palace star Wilf Zaha was also the subject of racist abuse and death threats on social media earlier this term following a match between the sides.

Arsenal take on Napoli again next week, in the second leg of their last eight clash.

They head to the Stadio San Paolo with a two-goal lead to defend, after first-half goals from Aaron Ramsey and Lucas Torreira.

The incident occurred on a night of shame for English football, with Chelsea barring three of their own supporters from entering Slavia Prague's stadium after pre-game 'bomber' chants against Mohamed Salah.

The trio were identified by the club's security staff after a video, apparently filmed by the fans themselves, was broadcast on social media on Thursday.

A Blues statement on the matter said: "Chelsea FC finds all forms of discriminatory behaviour abhorrent and where there is clear evidence of Chelsea season ticket holders or members involved in such behaviour, we will take the strongest possible action against them.

"Such individuals are an embarrassment to the vast majority of Chelsea supporters who won’t tolerate them in their club."

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