September 20 – Incidents of hate crime at football matches in England and Wales rose by 47% last season, according to new government figures.
In the 2018-19 season there were hate crime incidents – 79% of which related to race – at 193 matches, up from 131.
Conversely, football-related arrests dropped overall by 10% to 1,381 in 2018-19.
The Home Office report said the rise in hate crime is likely to be partially down to improvements in recording incidents at matches but anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out described the figures, which could also have been fuelled by increasing attitudes of intolerance as a result of Brexit, as “a serious concern”.
In a statement, the English Football Association said: “We strongly condemn all forms of discrimination and encourage all fans and participants who believe that they have been the subject of, or witness to, discriminatory abuse to report it through the appropriate channels.”
The clubs with the highest number of arrests were Stoke City (80), Leeds United (49) and Aston Villa (42) according to the data.
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