Police probe racism claims after fan abuse at England-India Test

The Bharat Army, the official India supporters' club, said "many" of its members at the Edgbaston ground had been targeted by "a very small minority" in Monday's fourth day of play



Fans applaud England's Jonny Bairstow after he completes his century on the fifth day of the fifth Test at Edgbaston on Tuesday. — Reuters
Fans applaud England's Jonny Bairstow after he completes his century on the fifth day of the fifth Test at Edgbaston on Tuesday. — Reuters

By AFP

Published: Tue 5 Jul 2022, 4:40 PM

Police have launched an investigation after India fans claimed they were racially abused during England's fifth Test victory in Birmingham.

The Bharat Army, the official India supporters' club, said "many" of its members at the Edgbaston ground had been targeted by "a very small minority" in Monday's fourth day of play.

A post on the group's Twitter account read: "Sad to say many of our members experienced racist abuse from a very small minority of individuals. We will work with @Edgbaston to share all your feedback.

"Thank you to those England fans who stood by us."

West Midlands Police on Tuesday said they were liaising with officials at Edgbaston to understand what happened.

Inquiries are being made to identify an alleged offender whose image was circulated on social media.

The England and Wales Cricket Board said: "We are very concerned to hear reports of racist abuse at today's Test match. We are in contact with colleagues at Edgbaston, who will investigate. There is no place for racism in cricket."

Stuart Cain, chief executive at Edgbaston, added: "I'm gutted by these reports as we're working hard to make Edgbaston a safe, welcoming environment for all.

"Having seen the initial tweets, I've spoken personally to the gentleman who raised them and we're now speaking to the stewards in this area to establish what happened.

"Nobody should be subject to any form of abuse at Edgbaston. So, once we've got all the facts, we will make sure this issue is addressed swiftly."

Former Yorkshire spinner Azeem Rafiq retweeted a thread detailing some of the alleged incidents along with the comment: "Disappointing to read."

His evidence to a parliamentary select committee last year sparked an investigation into his claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire which resulted in ECB charges and major reforms.

England won the fifth Test on Tuesday's final day after centuries from Yorkshire pair Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow.


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