Southgate ‘disturbed’ by throwing of banana skin at north London derby

England manager Gareth Southgate has described the throwing of a banana skin at Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang during Sunday’s north London derby as disturbing and concerning.

Four men have been charged by Metropolitan Police following the dramatic clash at the Emirates.

Six arrests were made for a number of incidents, including a banana skin being thrown at Aubameyang after he scored the opening goal and celebrated in front of Spurs’ travelling support.

Three men have been charged with throwing a missile on to the pitch, while another male has been charged with a public order offence. All four have been bailed to appear in court later this month.

Trouble was not restricted to the stands as a mass brawl broke out between the two sets of players after Eric Dier celebrated his equaliser in front of the Arsenal supporters and, as a result, both clubs have been charged with failing to control their players by the Football Association.

The men charged with throwing missiles will appear at Highbury Corner Court on December 18, 24 hours before Spurs return to the Emirates Stadium for their Carabao Cup quarter-final.

Southgate strongly condemned the scenes in the stands.

“If proven that there’s any sort of racially-motivated incident then it’s unacceptable,” he said after the UEFA Nations League finals draw in Dublin.

“First observation is that it definitely looks that way.

“I think we talk a lot about how much we’ve progressed in terms of dealing with racism in our country, but we still have moments like this that disturb you and concern you.”

UEFA president Aleksander Ceferin branded the incident a “disaster” for the game.

“Racism is of course a big problem in football, but it’s also a big problem in society, too, and not just racism but sexism too,” he said.

“We have to do more. We are doing quite a lot already and we can sanction clubs and associations – and we do that – but we need to educate as well.

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#whysmandoingthis ? 🍌

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“But when you see an event like that, it’s a disaster, if you ask me.”

Aubameyang’s reaction was more understated as he posted a picture of the incident on Instagram, with the caption “whysmandoingthis?” and a banana emoji.

Kick It Out has called for the supporter to be banned from football for life.

The anti-racism organisation, which this year celebrated its 25th anniversary, wants a strong punishment amid rising figures of racial incidents in football.

It tweeted: “Our latest reporting figures show incidents of racism are on the rise and the banana throwing at #NLD should be seen in that context.

“We condemn this action, welcome the police investigation – the person who did this should be banned from football for life.”

Spurs have already confirmed the supporter in question will be banned, with a spokesman saying: “Behaviour such as this is completely unacceptable and the supporter in question will be issued with a ban.”

Arsenal manager Unai Emery, who was sampling a first taste of the north London derby, condemned the man’s behaviour.

“I don’t accept this behaviour,” said Emery. “Nobody accepts it, but I think the police are doing their work.”

The FA has no jurisdiction, but are liaising with both clubs and Kick It Out over the matter.

The governing body has, though, acted against the clubs for the melee which came following Dier’s equalising goal after it was included in referee Mike Dean’s report.

There was a brawl on the touchline after Eric Dier's celebration
There was a brawl on the touchline after Eric Dier’s celebration (Nick Potts/PA)

A huge scuffle broke out on the touchline, which led to Spurs boss Mauricio Pochettino sprinting to play peacemaker.

The FA said in a statement: “Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur have been charged following their game yesterday.

“It is alleged that, in the 32nd minute, they failed to ensure that their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion.

“Both clubs have until 6pm on 6 December 2018 to respond to the charge.”

Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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