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2 Jan, 2020 12:32

'Unacceptable abuse': Three fans arrested for racist and homophobic abuse during Brighton vs Chelsea Premier League fixture

'Unacceptable abuse': Three fans arrested for racist and homophobic abuse during Brighton vs Chelsea Premier League fixture

Three fans, two from Brighton and one from Chelsea, were arrested during Wednesday's game at the Amex Stadium in the latest episode of racial abuse which has blighted the European game in recent months.

The arrests were confirmed by Brighton shortly after the game, which finished a 1-1 draw thanks to a spectacular late equalizer from the home side, but the gloss from Alireza Jahanbakhsh's sensational bicycle-kick goal has been removed somewhat by the actions of some supporters.

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"Two home supporters and one visiting supporter were ejected from the Amex and subsequently arrested, for three separate incidents of unacceptable abuse during yesterday's match against Chelsea," the club announced in a statement.

"Yet again it is with regret that we report the ejection of two home supporters - one for racist abuse of Chelsea players and one for homophobic abuse aimed at Chelsea supporters."

Brighton also revealed that one Chelsea fan was also removed from the stadium for homophobic statements directed at Brighton fans, and confirmed that local police are now investigating the incidents.

"All three were arrested by Sussex Police outside the stadium and now face prosecution," the club said.

"Yet again our safety and stewarding team, along with Sussex Police, have had to deal with three separate and unwanted instances of disgusting racist and homophobic abuse," Paul Barber, the club's chief executive, said. 

"If the prospect of a life ban from watching their clubs play football isn't a strong enough deterrent, we have to ask the question as to whether the courts should be given the power to hand out more severe punishments? Football can only do so much, and we are sick and tired of the game's reputation being tarnished by these people."

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The incidents are the latest in a long line of incidents involving racism and homophobia which have become prevalent in numerous leagues across Europe and beyond. Several players, including Inter Milan's Romelu Lukaku, have spoken out against the growing trend. 

Last month, Chelsea boss Frank Lampard said that he would support his team if they decided to walk off the pitch if their players were being targeted by racist chanting from the stands.