German teenager admits throwing banana
A German teenager was responsible for the banana-throwing incident during Scotland’s friendly with Brazil at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday, Arsenal said Tuesday.
Brazil forward Neymar, who scored both goals in his side’s 2-0 win, complained after the match that he had been the victim of racist abuse, a claim strenuously denied by the Scottish Football Association and the Tartan Army fans’ organisation.
The banana was retrieved from the pitch by team-mate Lucas Leiva during the game.
An Arsenal statement read: "After consultation with the Metropolitan Police, Arsenal Football Club can confirm that a German teenage tourist has admitted throwing a banana onto the pitch during the Brazil v Scotland international friendly at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday."
The banana was thrown from an area occupied by Brazil fans and the statement continued: "The youngster was sitting in the North Bank of Emirates Stadium, an area of the stadium which was occupied by the official allocation of tickets to Brazil supporters, when he threw the banana onto the pitch during the second half of the match.
"The Metropolitan Police is satisfied there was no racist intent and have confirmed that no further action will be taken."
The result was overshadowed by the post-match comments of 19-year-old Santos striker Neymar, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea.
“The entire stadium was jeering. This atmosphere of racism is totally sad,” he said at the time.
“We leave our country to play here and something like this happens.”
His claims were swiftly denied by Tartan Army spokesman Hamish Husband, who said: “Racism has no place in the Tartan Army and if it did, it would be stamped out immediately because we are self-policing.
“Any suggestion of racism from the Tartan Army, as far as I am concerned, is absolute rubbish.”
Scotland manager Craig Levein described his side’s fans as “a credit to their country” and Husband’s argument was endorsed by match commander Mark Sheeran, of Metropolitan Police, who said: “The Scottish fans’ behaviour was first class. There were no issues at all inside the stadium.”
The SFA subsequently contacted the Brazilian Football Federation and the match organisers, Kentaro, to relay Sheeran’s comments and inform them of the Scotland supporters’ unhappiness at the unfounded accusations.