The FA can confirm it has now concluded two separate investigations into allegations of discriminatory abuse from this season. The first investigation related to the Tottenham Hotspur versus West Ham United fixture on 25 November 2012 and the second matter involved Millwall Football Club following a programme which aired on Sky Sports News on 11 February 2013.
Both matters were also the subject of separate police investigations and concerned the use of racist and/or offensive language and/or gestures by supporters of West Ham United and Millwall respectively.
The FA’s own enquiries were not finalised until the conclusion of the police investigations, both of which resulted in arrests being made and charges issued against supporters of West Ham United and Millwall.
The FA subsequently closed its own investigations, with the following conclusions:
Tottenham Hotspur v West Ham United
· The FA notes that West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur liaised closely together during the preparations for the game on 25 November 2012 in relation to safety issues with additional emphasis given to offensive/discriminatory language and/or gestures.
· The FA is aware that there were reports after the game, which alleged anti-Semitic chanting by a minority of West Ham United supporters.
· The FA acknowledges the work West Ham United undertook in the immediate aftermath of the match and the ongoing work the club, led by its owners, undertakes to prevent all forms of discrimination and misconduct as well as the regular statements the club makes to supporters about the standards of behaviour expected.
· The FA is also aware of the West Ham United’s re-affirmation that it will continue to take swift and decisive action against any other individual identified to have used offensive language and/or gestures. One of those individuals arrested as part of the police investigation was a West Ham United season ticket holder who has since been given a life ban by the club.
· The FA is also aware that a subsequent police investigation following the game on the 25 November 2012 led to a number of arrests of West Ham United supporters.
· The FA notes also that the return fixture between West Ham United and Tottenham Hotspur at the Boleyn Ground on 25 February 2013 passed without major incident. This followed significant efforts by both clubs prior to and at the game, reminding supporters that discriminatory language and/or gestures would not be tolerated.
· In relation to the undercover video footage recorded by Sky Sports News at the Birmingham City versus Millwall match on 23 October 2012 and the Millwall versus Leeds United match on 18 November 2012, The FA notes that following separate police investigations the individuals concerned – both caught on camera – making offensive/racist remarks have since been identified, arrested and charged. Millwall have also imposed club bans for both offenders.
· The FA notes the work the club continues to do in partnership with its local community to educate supporters and help tackle discriminatory language/behavior.
The FA advises that consideration will be given to taking disciplinary action against both West Ham United and Millwall if further reports of spectator misconduct are received, however, no charges are to be issued to either club in relation to these isolated incidents.
The FA continues to remind all clubs to address any form of discriminatory behaviour with the strongest possible action.