West Ham investigate racism claims

04 April 2011 05:30

West Ham have confirmed they are investigating claims that the families of players Victor Obinna and Frederic Piquionne were racially abused by spectators at Saturday's match against Manchester United.

Reports emerged that guests of the two strikers were involved in a confrontation with a small group of supporters during the 4-2 home defeat to the Barclays Premier League leaders. According to the reports, the families were racially abused while sitting in a box in the Main Stand.

A statement from the club on their official website read: "West Ham United are investigating the events around Saturday's match against Manchester United after allegations of racist abuse."

It added: "The club takes such matters seriously and, with the Police, is reviewing CCTV footage and gathering witness information. Anyone found responsible will be dealt with appropriately.

"This is an isolated incident and our supporters, like the club, are proud of the positive relationship with Kick It Out - holding the Racial Equality Standard - and Show Racism the Red Card.

"West Ham United would like to restate the seven-point supporter plan it printed in Saturday's matchday programme and also promoted on its matchday screens around the ground."

West Ham co-chairman David Sullivan echoed the club statement, telling the London Evening Standard. "I believe all human beings are equal. We are all born with different physical attributes.

"I happen to be small and I've been the subject for many years of 'heightism' - a word I invented - so I know how people feel when they are subject to this sort of abuse.

"We will be monitoring CCTV, interviewing stewards and taking strong action against offenders if these allegations are proved to be correct.

"It is particularly sad that the families of our players were so treated."

Source: PA