Government figures released on Thursday shows that hate crime reports at football matches in England and Wales rose by almost 50 percent during the 2018/19 season compared to the previous campaign.
Occasions where hate crime were committed showed up at 193 matches between August 1, 2018 and July 31, 2019, a 47 percent rise from 131 matches in 2017 and in previous years.
Statistics that was made available by government revealed that among those incidents, 79 percent of it all relates to race. It suggest that the visible increase could be due to improvements that has been made in recording the data.
The record of overall football-linked arrests dropped by 10 percent to 1,381.
Manchester City forward player Raheem Sterling was the victim of a racist abuse in a match at Chelsea while Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had a banana skin thrown at him physically by a Tottenham supporter.
Assistant Chief Constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs Council football policing lead, said in a statement to the Press Association: “Hate crime is on the rise, and this reflects some of the high-profile incidents reported over the past season.
“We are committed to working with the leagues and clubs to tackle these issues but that will take a sustained focus on security from all concerned.”
Anti-discrimination charity organization Kick It Out said the figures were a “serious concern”.
“It’s encouraging to see that more people are comfortable reporting discrimination and we are working hard to make this as easy for all to do, but it is undeniable that we are experiencing a rise in hateful behaviour across the game and wider society.
“These figures should serve as a reminder for football. We must increase our efforts to send a clear message to any fan who discriminates at a match, you will be identified, arrested and face a football banning order.”