Three fans arrested for racist and homophobic abuse during Brighton vs Chelsea
Two Brighton and Hove Albion supporters and one visiting supporter were ejected from the Amex Stadium and arrested, for three separate incidents of abuse during the New Year's Day match against Chelsea.
Two home supporters — one for racist abuse of Chelsea players and one for homophobic abuse aimed at Chelsea supporters.
One visiting supporter was also ejected by club stewards for homophobic abuse aimed at home supporters. All three were arrested by Sussex Police outside the stadium and now face prosecution.
Chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber said, “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 & Hove Albion 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."
The case is an ongoing and active criminal investigation and the club said they will not comment further at this stage.