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FA probe racist abuse at Leeds match

The Football Association is investigating the alleged racist abuse directed at Arsenal’s bench by a Leeds fan during their Premier League game, the PA news agency understands.

Referee Andre Marriner halted play in the 34th minute on Saturday to consult with match officials after the incident had been reported and Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta confirmed later that unnamed substitutes had been targeted.

Leeds condemned the abuse following their 4-1 defeat and said in a statement that one arrest had been made in relation to the incident.

The West Yorkshire club said: “Leeds United can confirm that an investigation into claims of racism during the first half of our game with Arsenal today is underway, and that one arrest has been made in connection to the allegation.

“Racism will not be tolerated at Leeds United and any supporter found to be using racist language will be subject to a lifetime ban for all Leeds United games.”

The Premier League, which announced new enhanced anti-discrimination protocols at the start of the season, including permanent bans for anybody found guilty of discriminatory abuse, is understood to be supporting the investigation.

Arsenal took full advantage against a depleted Leeds side shorn of 10 senior players to secure a comfortable 4-1 win.

Arteta said after the game: “Yes, unfortunately I can confirm that. It was reported to the stadium manager. The authorities will deal with that.

“The players that were sitting on the bench. One of those heard those comments. I don’t know exactly (which player) it was, that’s why they will have to be interviewed by the authorities.”

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