More than one Manchester United player reported that they were racially abused after a Manchester City fan was spotted making monkey noises and gestures in the direction of midfielder Fred in Saturday’s derby.
Footage of the incident involving Fred was captured by Sky Sports’ cameras during United’s 2-1 win at the Etihad Stadium which appeared to show a man directing his disgusting actions towards the Brazilian.
Sportsmail understands the incident was seen by Man Utd officials on their phones and passed on to stewards who reported it to the control centre where all the CCTV is. It’s understood that more than one United player said racist abuse had been directed at them.
A Manchester City fan was spotted making monkey noises and gestures towards Fred
More than one Manchester United player is understood to have been racially abused
But the only known incident so far is of a fan targeting Fred when he went to take a corner
The fan was there for a while afterwards but it is unclear at this stage if he left or was kicked out, but both Manchester City and Greater Manchester Police are looking to identify the man involved.
Fred had already been struck by a water bottle and lighter thrown by a Manchester City fan and was then seen clutching his neck in pain.
The Brazilian had gone over to take a corner kick just after the hour mark where he was met by many disgruntled home fans.
The City supporters then began to jeer the United midfielder before beginning to throw objects in his direction – with a couple striking him.
City fans continued to cause unsavoury scenes during the taking of the corner kick, ultimately frustrated that their side were 2-0 down at the time.
City midfielder Fernandinho tried to defuse the situation in the same corner of the pitch where United’s Rio Ferdinand was cut by the left eye in the Etihad derby in December 2012, Scott McTominay led United’s protestations.
Footage firstly appeared to show a Manchester City fan making monkey gestures at Fred
The Manchester United midfielder was subjected to gestures as well from the supporter
After the game, Fred said: ”Unfortunately, we are still in a backward society. [It is a shame] we still have to live with that in 2019. On the field, I didn’t see anything. I saw it only in the locker room afterwards.
‘The guys showed me. He even threw a lighter and it hit me. I try not to care about that. I try to look ahead. Unfortunately, this is happening in some stadiums. It happened here, it happened in Ukraine with some friends. It’s sad, but we have to keep our heads up and forget about that.
‘We can’t give them any attention because that’s all they want. I spoke to the referee after the match, they will do something about it and that’s all. We are all the same regardless of skin color, hair and gender. We came from the same place and we all go to the same place when it’s all said and done. Thank God I have a lot of friends here in the locker room who hugged me, like Lingard. I don’t want to think about it. I just want to move on.’
Manchester City insist they are aware of the situation and will help with enquiries
The abuse prompted a huge outcry on social media and Piers Morgan labelled the suspect as a ‘racist, thick Neanderthal’.
The incident occured nearly a year to the day that Raheem Sterling faced similar unsavoury abuse at Stamford Bridge from a fan who Chelsea banned permanently from the ground in July.
Racism has blighted the game this year and England’s Euro qualifier was suspended in Bulgaria after home supporters directed their racist vitriol at Gareth Southgate’s black players in October.
Manchester City released a statement after Saturday’s game and stated: ‘Manchester City FC are aware of a video circulating on social media which appears to show a supporter making racial gestures during the second half of the match against Manchester United this evening.
‘Officials from the Club are working with Greater Manchester Police in order to help them identify any individuals concerned and assist with their enquiries.
‘The club are also working with GMP regarding an instance of objects being thrown onto the field of play.
Fred had already been hit with an object thrown from the crowd in the Manchester derby
‘The club operates a zero tolerance policy regarding discrimination of any kind, and anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life.’
Pep Guardiola also stated that he endorsed his club’s statement and added: ‘Hopefully they are going to solve it. I’m pretty sure the club and the police will take the right decision so it doesn’t happen again.
‘It’s a battle every day. It happens in many places and hopefully it can’t happen again.’
Marcus Rashford was asked after United’s victory if he had heard about the chanting at Fred, and he replied: ‘It can happen and I think in recent times we’ve been dealing with it better but it shouldn’t happen.’
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was rather more scathing in his assessment of the incident, and urged City to ban him from the ground because ‘he shouldn’t be watching football.’
‘Fred and Jesse were in the corner taking coins so they’ve got to go away and there’s this not so intelligent player chanting racist abuse.
‘I hope City ban him because he shouldn’t be watching football. He should not be allowed back into a ground. We keep talking about it but we have to stamp it out.’
But the awful incident did not prevent his side from securing a victory over their neighbours
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has stated the fan should be banned and shouldn’t be watching football
Former Manchester City defender Micah Richards called the actions ‘disheartening’ and believes that while the whole ground should not be blamed, no player should feel judged by the colour of their skin.
He told Sky Sports: ‘It’s difficult because social media’s so back nowadays. Maybe ten years ago that wouldn’t have been seen.
‘You can’t blame the whole ground, you can’t blame Man City, it’s just one fan. You shouldn’t be judged by the colour of your skin or gender. It’s just disheartening.’
Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp were equally critical of the latest instant of players suffering racist abuse, with the former stating that the issue is pandemic while Redknapp reiterated the point that it transcends the game of football.
‘Sterling has been powerful on this issue. There was a horrific incident about [Chris] Smalling and [Romelu] Lukaku. It’s rampant in this country,’ Neville said.
Former Manchester City right-back Micah Richards called the incident ‘disheartening’
‘It’s happening not just in Bulgaria, it’s happening in our country. We’re poor at dealing with it themselves. It’s a problem for everybody and it won’t go away until punishments are handed out.
‘It’s what Man City can do themselves which is banning the fan for life. It’s what the authorities do to stop it out for good.
‘It’s something that’s got worse in this country, not just in football.’
Redknapp added: ‘It’s a society problem. Something has to be done about it. It’s not just about banning him from a football game.
‘It shows there’s a problem in the environment when he feels he can come to a game and racially abuse young men. It’s disgusting.’
Kick It Out have also tweeted that they will be in contact with the clubs after posting a tweet on social media.
It read: ‘We have been inundated with reports of alleged racist abuse from a number of individuals during this evenings Manchester Derby.
‘We will be contacting both clubs to offer our support and hope swift action is taken to identify the offenders.’