Irish investigate banana on pitch, racism alleged

Gael Clichy

LIMERICK, Ireland — An investigation has been launched after Manchester City defender Gael Clichy claimed he was the victim of racism after a banana was thrown onto the pitch during his side’s friendly win over Limerick.

Police and stadium officials are studying CCTV footage in an attempt to identify a spectator alleged to have thrown the missile onto the pitch during the Premier League champions’ 4-0 pre-season friendly victory at Thomond Park on Sunday.

A statement from Limerick FC and Thomond Park Stadium said: “The Gardai (Irish police) and stadium officials are reviewing the CCTV recordings to attempt to identify an individual involved in the throwing of an offensive object onto the playing field.

“Any individual identified as being involved in an incident of this nature will be banned from future attendance and the matter will be handed over to the Gardai.

“All those involved with the friendly game fully condemn all forms of unacceptable behaviour of this nature.”

It is understood Manchester City made no formal complaint over the incident, which was mentioned by Clichy via his Twitter account.

The French player tweeted: “How sad to see ‘bananas thrown on the pitch’ tonight… Knowing people around the world need food. £nowordsforthis.”

The incident came as Newcastle asked Den Haag to investigate reports of racist chanting from sections of home fans during the friendly game between the two clubs at the Kyocera Stadium the previous day. – AFP