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Gary Neville blames Boris Johnson for ‘fuelling’ racism in football after Manchester derby incident

The Independent logo The Independent 07/12/2019 Luke Brown
Gary Neville holding a phone © Provided by The Independent

Gary Neville has suggested that Boris Johnson’s incendiary rhetoric on immigrants and immigration has fuelled the number of racist incidents in British society and sport. Neville was speaking on Sky Sports after Manchester City said they were “aware of a video circulating on social media which appears to show a supporter making racial gestures” during their match against Manchester United.

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The club also said they are “working with Greater Manchester Police in order to help them identify any individuals concerned”. The alleged incident occurred in the second half of City’s 2-1 defeat at the Etihad as a supporter appeared to make a monkey gesture towards a United player.

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Gary Neville, TV Presenter is seen during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Leicester City at St Mary's Stadium on October 25, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) © 2019 Getty Images SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - OCTOBER 25: Gary Neville, TV Presenter is seen during the Premier League match between Southampton FC and Leicester City at St Mary's Stadium on October 25, 2019 in Southampton, United Kingdom. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images) Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville said: “You are watching the Prime Minister’s debate last night where he is talking about migration to this country, and people having to have certain levels. “It fuels it all the time. It has got worse over the last few years in this country and not just in football.”

Manchester United's Brazilian midfielder Fred (L) tries to take a penalty after being pelted with objects from the crowd during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 7, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images) Manchester United's Brazilian midfielder Fred (L) tries to take a penalty after being pelted with objects from the crowd during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 7, 2019. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. / (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images) A City statement after the game read: “Manchester City FC 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. “Officials from the club are working with Greater Manchester Police in order to help them identify any individuals concerned and assist with their enquiries.

BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - APRIL 08:  Arsenal and Derby players with the Premier League say no to Racism banner before the match between Arsenal and Derby County at Meadow Park on April 8, 2019 in Borehamwood, England.  (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images) © 2019 The Arsenal Football Club Plc BOREHAMWOOD, ENGLAND - APRIL 08: Arsenal and Derby players with the Premier League say no to Racism banner before the match between Arsenal and Derby County at Meadow Park on April 8, 2019 in Borehamwood, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images) “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.”

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