Three fans were arrested during the 1-1 draw between Brighton and Hove Albion and Chelsea at the Amex Stadium on New Year’s Day in separate incidents of alleged racist and homophobic abuse.
Two Brighton supporters were arrested amid allegations of homophobic and racist abuse, while one Chelsea supporter was arrested for alleged homophobic abuse.
The Premier League club confirmed that Sussex Police have arrested three people outside the stadium and they now face prosecution.
Brighton chief executive Paul Barber released the following statement as this is the second time Brighton have had to deal with his kind of incident at a home game.
“Yet again our safety and stewarding team, along with Sussex Police, have had to deal with three separate and unwanted instances of disgusting racist and homophobic abuse. If the prospect of a life ban from watching their clubs play football isn’t a strong enough deterrent, we have to ask the question as to whether the courts should be given the power to hand out more severe punishments? Football can only do so much, and we are sick and tired of the game’s reputation being tarnished by these people.
“I find it impossible to comprehend how and why some individuals think it’s acceptable to behave in this way, and yet again I will make it very clear that neither Brighton nor the wider football community, will tolerate racism, homophobia, or any other form of discrimination at any time. We would urge any fans confronted with similar discriminatory behaviour at our stadium to report it immediately, either directly to a steward or via our anonymous hotline, and we will continue to take the strongest possible action against such bigoted individuals. These people are not welcome at the Amex or at any football matches.”