Arsenal investigating video of fan racially abusing Napoli’s Kalidou Koulibaly
Arsenal have launched an investigation after a video emerged online in which a supporter can be heard racially abusing the Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly.
Unai Emery’s side won their Europa League quarter-final first leg 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium, but another incidence of racism will overshadow the result.
In a Snapchat video shot during the game, the culprit can be heard using the N-word to refer to Koulibaly – with the word also written across the screen for part of the 15-second recording.
“We utterly condemn use of this type of racist language and have launched an investigation to identify the culprit,” Arsenal said in a statement. “We operate a zero-tolerance approach and anyone behaving like this is not welcome at Arsenal and will be banned from matches.
“We have an extremely diverse community of fans who are all part of the Arsenal family and such incidents are rare at the Emirates Stadium. We encourage supporters to report any incidents as they happen to stewards or via our matchday alert service.”
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Arsenal forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has admitted the numerous recent cases of racist abuse in football have been “painful” and left him “disappointed”.
There have been several incidents of racism in recent months, including a number of Chelsea supporters being filmed chanting abuse towards Liverpool forward Mohamed Salah ahead of their Europa League tie in Prague on Thursday night.
Monkey chants were aimed at England’s black players in their Euro 2020 qualifying win in Montenegro last month while Aubameyang had a banana skin thrown at him by a Tottenham fan as he celebrated his goal in December’s north London derby.
There have been plenty of other examples, both at home and abroad, and Aubameyang - speaking after Arsenal’s win over Napoli admitted he has been dismayed by the recent issues.
“I am really disappointed about that,” he said. “I had the same problem here against Tottenham. When you are black like me it is really painful, I think, because we are in 2019 and obviously it is not good for football in England. Hopefully we will find a way to kick it out.”