Friday 1 March 2024
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Man arrested after allegations of homophobic language at Forest cup match

Police have arrested a suspect after homophobic language was reportedly heard at a football match.

Officers were first made aware of the reports during the first half of Nottingham Forest’s home tie with Wolverhampton Wanderers last night (11 January).

The suspect – a Wolves fan sitting in the away end at the City Ground – was allegedly overheard aiming homophobic language at rival fans and Forest players.

After being identified by club stewards and pointed out to police, a 53-year-old man was then arrested on suspicion of using threatening or abusive words.

He has since been released on conditional bail.

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Chief Inspector James Walker, Nottinghamshire Police’s hate crime lead, said: “Homophobic language has absolutely no place inside or outside football stadiums and will never be tolerated by Nottinghamshire Police.

“We will always take positive action against anyone found to be spouting hate speech and would urge anyone who overhears this type of abuse to report it to us straight away.

“As a force, we work closely with Nottinghamshire’s three professional football clubs and have a joint approach towards reporting and dealing with hate at football matches.

“Nottinghamshire Police also recently launched our ‘take aim at hate’ campaign, which focuses on raising awareness of hate and encouraging victims of hate abuse to report it to the police.

“A suspect has been arrested in connection with this incident, but our inquiries are still ongoing, so we’d ask anyone who has any information about what happened to contact us.

“Information can be left either by calling the police on 101, quoting incident 398 of 11 January 2023, or by contacting Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

A Wolves spokesperson said: “Homophobia, like all forms of discrimination, has no place in football or society, and the club strongly condemns such behaviour.

“Our ethos at Wolves is about being ‘One Pack’ – an attitude our supporters are very passionate about and that extends to our relationships across the football community, regardless of rivalries or what happens on the football pitch.

“Although it is extremely disappointing to have any discriminatory behaviour reported at our games, what is pleasing is that it is being brought to our attention by stewards and fans, which is a huge help as we join together to eradicate discrimination from our game.

“We will continue to campaign for inclusivity and to tackle discriminatory abuse whether inside stadiums or online, and the club will offer its full support to the police as they carry out their investigation.”

•  Police warning ahead of Nottingham Forest v Leicester City

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