Racist fan investigated

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A WIGAN football fan who racially abused a footballer on the social networking site Twitter is being investigated by police.

Crawley Town midfielder Hope Akpan received an offensive tweet after he had been sent off in the team’s League One clash with Oldham Athletic on Saturday.

Sent by a user under the name of @Woodywafc, it read: ‘why u been sent off ya ****’.

The tweet was reported to police in Sussex by a Crawley fan.

They contacted officers in Greater Manchester who are now investigating.

Sergeant Darren Taylor, Crawley’s football intelligence officer, said: “The Crawley fans were fantastic for the way they brought it to our attention - they went to task straight away. It is not acceptable and it has to stop. We have identified the fan, we just need to find out where he lives.

“If there are any Wigan fans who know him, I would ask them to get in touch. Football, and Wigan Athletic, do not need this.”

Wigan Athletic refused to comment on the matter.

The Professional Footballers Association have offered their support to Akpan, as has Crawley manager, Richie Barker.

A statement from the club added: “Crawley Town FC has a zero-tolerance policy towards racism of any kind and will do all it can to assist the authorities in dealing with instances of racism affecting our players or staff.”

A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “Sussex Police is investigating an allegation of a racist tweet sent to a Crawley Town football player.

The investigation is in its early stages and officers are liaising with Greater Manchester Police to identify the offender.”

Racism in football has been in the headlines recently after a number of high-profile cases.

Referee Mark Clattenburg is currently being investigated amid claims he abused Chelsea’s John Obi Mikel during United’s 3-2 win at Stamford Bridge on Sunday.

GMP are also investigating claims that another Crawley player. Nicky Adams, was abused by a Bury supporter on Twitter.