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Manchester City, FA and police investigate after United players allege they were racially abused

Fred hit by object and footage of alleged racial gesture captured and shared online; 41-year-old man arrested in connection with alleged racist incident

Fred
Image: Fred reacts after appearing to be struck by an object thrown from the crowd

Manchester City are working with police to identify an individual after footage appeared to show a supporter allegedly making monkey gestures towards Manchester United players.

Goals from Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial helped Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side secure a 2-1 win at the Etihad but Saturday evening's Premier League match was overshadowed by the alleged incident off the field of play, which is being investigated by the Football Association.

During an altercation with a group of City fans, United midfielder Fred appeared to be struck by an object thrown from the crowd as he went to take a corner in the 68th minute. Lighters and a plastic water bottle could be seen on the pitch.

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Micah Richards, Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp have their say on racism after a Manchester City fan aimed alleged racist abuse towards Manchester United players during the derby

A City fan was also filmed appearing to make a racist gesture, and more than one United player felt they had been racially abused during the incident, reporting their concerns to City and to referee Anthony Taylor.

City confirmed: "The club are aware of a video circulating on social media which appears to show a supporter making racial gestures during the second half of the match against Manchester United this evening.

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"Officials from the club are working with Greater Manchester Police (GMP) in order to help them identify any individuals concerned and assist with their enquiries. The club are also working with GMP regarding an instance of objects being thrown onto the field of play.

"The club operates a zero-tolerance policy regarding discrimination of any kind, and anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life."

Greater Manchester Police confirmed later on Saturday evening they were investigating the gesture made by a fan at the Etihad Stadium, and a 41-year-old man has now been arrested in connection with the alleged racist incident.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pep Guardiola condemned the fan who directed alleged racist abuse towards Manchester United players during Saturday’s derby

Chris Hill from Greater Manchester Police said: "I would like to thank the public for their ongoing support with this incident.

"Racism of any kind has no place in football or our society and I hope this arrest shows that we are taking this matter extremely seriously.

"We will continue to work with Manchester City and Manchester United Football clubs on this incident and will investigate any other lines of enquiries."

Rashford was among the United players in the corner area along with Fred and Jesse Lingard. He told Sky Sports: "I was not aware of it in the game but it can happen and in recent times, we have been dealing with it a little bit better but the fact it's still happening isn't good enough.

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"There's obviously work still to do in that area but for us, it's about the football and trying to do our best on the pitch."

Solskjaer said of the fan: "We keep talking about it every week. Sorry, but he's been caught on camera. He should, in my opinion, never be allowed in a football ground again.

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"I'm sure City and the authorities will deal with it. We talk about it every week, and it won't stop until there are consequences. It has affected both Fred and Jesse [Lingard]. It's an act of ignorance."

City boss Pep Guardiola said: "I support the club [statement] and we are going to work to avoid it happening again."

Fred said afterwards that we are still living in a "backward society".

"I spoke to the referee after the match, they will do something about it and that's all," he told ESPN.

English football's equality and inclusion organisation Kick It Out said it had been "inundated with reports of alleged racist abuse from a number of individuals" during the game.

It added: "We will be contacting both clubs to offer our support and hope swift action is taken to identify the offenders."

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