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Arrest made after Arsenal bench targeted by alleged racist abuse

P

olice have made an arrest after Arsenal reported an incident of alleged racist abuse aimed at their substitutes during Saturday’s win over Leeds United.

The incident occurred during the first-half of the game, which Arsenal won 4-1, with Arsenal reporting it to the stadium manager at Elland Road.

Arsenal defender Rob Holding could be seen getting up from the bench as the game was briefly halted and the referee Andre Marriner called to the touchline.

Holding was part of a conversation involving the fourth official, who summoned Marriner, as well as Mikel Arteta and a representative from Leeds.

It is thought Holding was informing the officials about what had taken place by the Arsenal bench, while Marriner urged Arsenal’s players not to celebrate near that section of the crowd following Bukayo Saka’s strike shortly before the interval.

In a statement after the match, Leeds gave an update on the incident.

It read: “Leeds United can confirm that an investigation into claims of racism during the first half of our game with Arsenal today are underway and that one arrest has been made in connection to the allegation.

“Racism will not be tolerated at Leeds United and any supporter found to be using racist language will be subject to a life time ban for all Leeds United games.”

Asked if he could confirm there were allegations of racism to the Arsenal bench, Arteta said: “Yes, unfortunately I can confirm that.

“It was reported to the stadium manager and then the authorities will deal with that.

“It was a player siting on the bench. One of the players heard those comments.”

Arteta said it was a “single person” who aimed the alleged abuse apparently toward one of Arsenal’s substitutes.

“[I’m] very disappointed because we have done so much in football to try to avoid it,” he said. “But it is a single person. I don’t think that merits that a full stadium pays the price.



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