Norwich report Bassong abuse

  • Last Updated: December 10 2012, 17:25 GMT

Four separate incidents of actual or alleged racism towards Norwich defender Sebastien Bassong have been reported to the police, the club have confirmed.

Sebastien Bassong: Suffered alleged racial abuse
Sebastien Bassong: Suffered alleged racial abuse

The allegations relate to Norwich's away matches against Everton on November 24 and the 4-3 win at Swansea on Saturday.

Sebastien Bassong

30. Sebastien Bassong

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A Swansea supporter was released on bail on Sunday after being arrested during the game for allegedly making racist gestures towards Bassong as he celebrated a goal with his team-mates.

Norwich have confirmed the other three cases involved racist messages being sent to the defender on Twitter after both the Swansea match and the 1-1 draw at Everton.

A statement issued by the club read: "Norwich City regrets to confirm four separate cases involving actual or alleged racist abuse aimed at our defender Sebastien Bassong have been reported to police in the last two weeks.

"Following a complaint made by Sebastien to referee Howard Webb during last Saturday's 4-3 Barclays Premier League win at Swansea, a man in the home section of the crowd was arrested and later charged in relation to alleged racist abuse.

"We would like to thank both Swansea City FC and South Wales Police for their swift and effective handling of this unfortunate incident."

The statement also confirmed the Twitter abuse aimed at Bassong was being investigated and made the club's position towards any racist behaviour clear.

"In the evening following the match a tweet containing racist abuse was sent to Sebastien's twitter account," the statement read. "We have this morning passed details of this incident on to Norfolk Police for them to investigate.

"Meanwhile, Norfolk Police are in the process of investigating two further separate racist tweets about Sebastien sent following our 1-1 draw at Everton on Saturday, November 24.

"Sebastien Bassong is a fantastic athlete and professional who we are proud to have on board at Norwich City. It is deeply disappointing that his recent excellent performances for the club should be tarnished by these incidents.

"Norwich City Football Club wish to reiterate that we have a zero tolerance stance on racism and will pursue these and any other examples of discrimination aimed at any of our colleagues to the fullest extent of the law."

The 26-year-old Cameroon international moved to Carrow Road from Tottenham in the summer and has been an integral part of the club's recent run of good form.

He has scored three goals in the last four games, including a late equaliser at Goodison Park and heading Norwich 2-0 in front at Swansea.

Norwich boss Chris Hughton believes the speed with which Swansea officials dealt with the fan accused of making gestures towards Bassong should act as a warning.

"Swansea have dealt with the incident very, very well and very swiftly and I think that is a way forward," he said.

"On any issues of this kind, I think if they are handled as quickly as the incident was on Saturday you hope it is a bigger deterrent for anybody who wants to put themselves in that position."

Kick It Out chairman Lord Ouseley also praised the way all parties involved in Saturday's incident dealt with the matter.

"It is a classic, textbook way in which a player who is being abused should complain and how the referee, the officials, the security, the police, the club should respond," he told Sky Sports News.

"We want to encourage players to complain, to use the processes, to make sure they work because those processes are there to provide protection and stop people abusing others."

Ouseley believes more has to be done to eradicate racism within football.

He said: "There is a nastiness creeping back into our society; scapegoating, prejudice, bigotry, hatred, all these things.

"People take those characteristics with them and try to take them to football and ease their frustration, but in the wider society that is what's happening.

"I think we have got to be very conscious in football that we have got to do even more than we have been doing to make sure it is not happening in football."


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