LONDON, Oct 7 — Aston Villa said they were “disgusted and appalled” by social media footage that shows fans chanting a racist song during their Premier League win against Norwich.
A video following Saturday’s 5-1 victory shows a group of Villa fans singing about the club’s Zimbabwean midfielder Marvelous Nakamba and one other player, with references to several racial stereotypes.
Villa said in a statement: “Aston Villa is disgusted and appalled by footage circulating on social media of supporters chanting a racist song which makes reference to two of our first-team players.
“The club wholly condemns the chant and urges other supporters to help us identify those responsible.”
Villa’s statement said security staff would be vigilant at forthcoming games to ensure that anybody attempting repetition of the chant would be dealt with severely.
Former Villa striker Stan Collymore praised the club for acting “swiftly and unambiguously”.
Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust condemned the footage, describing the song’s contents as “a cheap and insulting stereotype”.
A spate of incidents marred Premier League matches last season.
Manchester City forward Raheem Sterling was the victim of alleged racist abuse in a match at Chelsea while Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a banana skin thrown at him by a Tottenham fan.
West Ham announced last month that they would be banning for life a fan shown chanting racist songs on a video, while Chelsea and Liverpool launched a joint investigation after footage showed a Blues fan chanting alleged racist abuse towards Reds forward Mohamed Salah.
England boss Gareth Southgate has warned his players could be subjected to racist abuse during next Monday’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria after Sterling was targeted by a fan at Wembley last month in the first meeting between the two countries. — AFP