Two arrested over Mido chanting

MidoTwo men have been arrested over racist chanting aimed at Middlesbrough’s Egyptian striker Mido during the 0-0 draw against Newcastle on 29 November. The pair, aged 49 and 23, will appear before Teesside Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with racial chanting.

A Football Association spokesman said: “The FA condemns any racist or Islamaphobic behaviour and is committed to working to stamp it out. We will fully support banning orders for anyone found guilty.”

Mido, 25, suffered similar abuse during the corresponding fixture at the Riverside last season but no action was taken because police were unable to identify the culprits. “It happened again because after the first time the English FA did nothing,” Mido told Egyptian TV station Al Hayat.

Piara Powar, director of anti-racism campaign Kick It Out, believes the authorities should be able to identify the culprits via closed-circuit television footage and has called on football supporters to help “self-police” any racist incidents on the terraces.

“The police are now saying they are going to put in extra monitoring for the next game, but by then it will be too late,” he said. “What we need is for the police to go over the CCTV footage and do what they can, in similar way which they are in Hampshire concerning the recent incident with the Tottenham fans at Portsmouth.

“The key change we do have in English football now is there is self-policing, peer pressure which supporters who understand the implications can put on fans who are involved in abuse. We would urge Newcastle fans to start rooting out themselves the individuals who were involved.”

BBC News, 5 December 2008