Suffolk: MP joins battle to wipe out racist behaviour in football

A SUFFOLK MP is today calling for racism to be stamped out of sport for good.

Avid Liverpool FC fan Suffolk Coastal MP Therese Coffey was left disgusted after a fan was caught on camera making ‘racist’ gestures during the team’s FA Cup match against Manchester United on Saturday.

Dr Coffey was one of many to post a picture on social networking sites expressing dismay at the behaviour.

Dr Coffey, a member of the Department of Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport Select Commitee, put a picture of the alleged culprit on her Twitter account with the plea “Let’s catch the racist making monkey impressions to Evra” and urged the Premier League club to investigate.

She said: “We can’t afford for this type of behaviour to happen.

“I was trying to do my bit to help stamp out racism and make the club aware so action can be taken against those responsible. It shows the power of social media.”

Chief Supt Jon Ward, of Merseyside Police, said the matter is under investigation by specialist hate-crime detectives.

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“We take all forms of offensive behaviour seriously and we will always thoroughly investigate such claims,” he added.

The incident follows Liverpool player Luis Suarez’s eight-match ban and �40,000 fine for racially abusing Patrice Evra during a match with Manchester United in October. Meanwhile, pre-match handshakes before Saturday’s Chelsea and QPR FA Cup fixture were cancelled in an attempt to stop the race row between players John Terry and Anton Ferdinand boiling over.

Terry is due to appear in court this week accused of racist behaviour towards Ferdinand earlier in the season.

n Police yesterday questioned a man in connection with an alleged racist gesture made by a fan during Liverpool’s FA Cup victory over their rivals. The 59-year-old suspect, from North Wales, was held hours after the game at Anfield.

n What do you think should be done to tackle racisim in sport? Write to Your Letters, Ipswich Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or you can e-mail starletters@archant. co.uk