Gary Neville accuses Boris Johnson of fuelling racism after Man City fan abuse during Manchester United clash

Gary Neville has criticised Boris Johnson for his message on immigrants (Sky Sports)

Gary Neville has accused Boris Johnson of ‘fuelling’ racism after a Manchester City fan was caught racially abusing Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard at the Etihad Stadium on Saturday.

Manchester City have confirmed they are working with Greater Manchester Police in order to identify the supporter who directed a monkey chant towards Lingard during the second half of their match against United.

But Neville believes the Prime Minister’s message on immigrants, which was reiterated during the political leaders debate on Friday evening, only aggravates racism in society and sport.

‘You’re watching the prime minister’s debate where he is talking about migration to this country and people coming into this country having to have certain levels. It fuels it all the time,’ Neville told Sky Sports.

A Man City supporter was seen directing a monkey gesture towards Jesse Lingard (Sky Sports)

‘Essentially, it’s something that has got worse over the last few years in this country and not just in football.

‘I think Raheem Sterling has been powerful on this subject now for over 12 months but there have been issues within the Manchester City dressing room this season.

‘There was a horrific headline in the Corriere dello Sport relating to Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling.

‘We’ve seen the incident today, we saw an incident at Chelsea last season.

Italian newspaper Corriere dello Sport used the headline ‘Black Friday’ for an article on Romelu Lukaku and Chris Smalling

‘It is rampant across this country. We judge the Bulgarians who came in, almost like a hatchet job, those 30, 40 fans from Bulgaria who came in and were racist towards the England players in that match.

‘It’s happening not just in Bulgaria, it’s happening in our country, in our league.

‘We always judge other countries with how they deal with racism, like you say the incident yesterday in Italy was ridiculous and horrific, but we’re poor at dealing with it ourselves.

‘Even, to be fair, City can be better at dealing with it. They obviously made a statement very quickly but there have been issues this season where I don’t think they’ve adequately dealt with issues of racism. It’s a problem for everybody.

‘It continues to keep coming back and back and it won’t go away until the correct punishments are handed out.

‘It’s what Manchester City can do themselves, which is obviously ban the fan for life. That’s just a given.

‘I don’t think you deserve a badge for banning someone who’s racist. It’s a fact, you have to be banned for life.

‘It’s what the FA do, what the Premier League do, it’s what the authorities do in this country to ensure it’s actually stamped out for good. Us banning a fan for life isn’t going to stop it.’


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