Police arrest two men over racist video targeting Japan football star that emerged ahead of massive derby between arch-rivals
Scottish police have arrested a pair of men for alleged hate crimes over racist abuse towards Japan international Kyogo Furuhashi that emerged on social media, with top club Rangers handing indefinite bans to some supporters.
The Glasgow giants have handed out the punishments after a shocking video showed a racist song being chanted about the forward, who plays for their arch-rivals, Celtic.
The clip circulated on social media last weekend, when Rangers were playing Ross County, and investigations have now resulted in two men being charged.
"Police Scotland has arrested and charged two men in connection with an alleged hate crime directed towards a Celtic Football Club player following reports of a video circulating online that officers were made aware of on Monday, 23 August, 2021," the UK's second-largest police force said in a statement.
Unfortunately, a number of Celtic players in recent years have suffered similar racist abuse. As a club open to all, we stand firmly against racism in all its forms and we will give Kyogo our full support.All stakeholders must work together in tackling all forms of bigotry.— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) August 22, 2021
"The men, one aged 30 and one aged 26, have been released on an undertaking and are due to appear at Hamilton Sheriff Court at a later date. A full report will be sent to the [prosecution service] Procurator Fiscal."
Furuhashi's club slammed the "sickening and pathetic racist behaviour", with the their new summer signing from Barcelona legend Andres Iniesta's Vissel Kobe responding by writing "I'll never walk alone" in a tweet to accompany a photo of him in action.
Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou confirmed that despite the abuse, Furuhashi – who scored a hat-trick on his debut and has netted six times in seven in Scotland – remains in his plans for Sunday's Old Firm Derby against Rangers.
"Kyogo is good," Postecoglou told Sky Sports. "He's a very positive young man and he understands that this kind of behavior directed towards him is a kind of thing that a lot of people have to deal with.
"He's not going to let that tarnish his whole experience here because, if you speak to him, I'm sure he'd say that he's loving every bit of being part of this football club and living in this country."
Police Scotland said their inquiries are ongoing and have appealed to anyone with information on the video footage to contact them.Also on rt.com ‘You're a f***ing monkey’: Footballer reveals ‘vile’ racism and urges UEFA to end tokenism as teammate calls black players ‘pawns’