By Tom Collomosse | Daily Mail |
An Aston Villa fans group and the club itself has condemned a racially-charged chant aimed at midfielder Marvelous Nakamba which has emerged on social media, and vowed to work with the club to ensure rapid action.
A video that came to light after Saturday’s 5-1 win at Norwich show a group of fans singing about the Zimbabwean, in which the word ‘rasta’ can be heard, as well as apparent references to slavery and the size of his penis.
It is thought the club and the Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust are in discussions, with Villa’s own fan consultation groups also expected to be involved.
A statement released by the club read: ‘Aston Villa is disgusted and appalled by footage circulating on social media of supporters chanting a racist song which makes reference to two of our first team players.
‘The club wholly condemns the chant and urges other supporters to help us identify those responsible.
‘Chants of this nature besmirch the good name of Aston Villa Football Club and our fans. If the perpetrators are identified they will be dealt with in the strongest manner by the club and be reported to the Police immediately.
‘Our security staff will be vigilant at forthcoming games to ensure that anybody attempting repetition of this chant will be dealt with severely.
‘We know we can rely on the assistance of the majority of our fans to eradicate this toxic behaviour immediately.
‘If anyone has any information please contact the club on 0121 327 2299.’
The Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust moved quickly to release a statement on the chant.
It read: ‘AVST is disappointed to hear about the chanting directed towards Marvelous Nakamba yesterday. It’s a cheap and insulting stereotype that has no place in this day and age.
‘Racist stereotypes are never acceptable. Hiding so-called support behind such words are [sic] reprehensible and and are [sic] condemned by all decent Villa supporters.
‘We will be contacting the club regarding this issue and we will be working closely with them to ensure it is addressed swiftly.’
Nakamba joined Villa from Club Brugge in August in a deal worth more than £11million, signing a five-year contract.
Earlier in the day, Kick It Out warned time was ‘running out’ to take measures to protect players from racist abuse online after Leicester midfielder Hamza Choudhury became the latest player to be targeted.
A statement released by the charity read: ‘The time for talking is fast running out and if action will not be taken, the Government or a regulatory body must intervene and force these platforms to adopt measures to eradicate abuse, identify perpetrators and hold them to account.
‘After yesterday’s Premier League fixture between @LFC and @LCFC, Hamza Choudhury became the latest player to receive horrendous racist abuse, via a number of social media platforms and in the comments section of several online articles.
‘Despite ongoing discussions about tackling this ever-increasing issue, we have yet to see any concrete measures put in place to protect the players suffering this abuse.’