Wenger speaks out against Campbell abuse

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has called for any abuse – whether racist or otherwise – to be stamped out of the game.

Former Arsenal and Tottenham defender Sol Campbell was subjected to alleged racial and homophobic comments from sections of the travelling Spurs supporters during the game at Portsmouth last Sunday.

Hampshire Police initially said it was not possible to make arrests due to the sheer numbers chanting and would instead report the matter to the Football Association. However, it has since been confirmed the force, as well as officials at Soho Square, will now investigate.

Campbell, 34, has been a hate figure for some Spurs fans after his controversial Bosman move to bitter North London rivals Arsenal in 2001.

Wenger – himself no stranger to abuse from the terraces since his arrival in England some 12 seasons ago – insisted no matter what the circumstances, such actions have no place in the modern game.

"My reaction is that abuse cannot be tolerated from anybody towards anybody in the world," said the French coach.

"How can you fight against it? You can single out people who do it.

"You can punish them individually by not letting them in, then maybe single out a group of people who go from game to game and do it.

"Sometimes stupidity is contagious as well and sometimes in the crowd there is a competition to see who can be more stupid.

"That is why you should not let these people be together."

Wenger continued: "There is, though, a big tolerance and the abuse only becomes singled out when it is racism.

"That is not the only abuse which you get in the stadium, but maybe people only get touched by it when it is racism.

"Insults of any way should not be tolerated either."

England players have also been subjected to racist taunts while away on international duty, most recently Wigan striker Emile Heskey in Croatia, with their national association fined nearly £15,000 (€19,106) by governing body FIFA as a result.

And Wenger feels it is a problem that needs addressing across the game.

He said: "The racist abuse is much worse in some other countries than in England.

"I believe that England has shown the right direction and the right way by not tolerating it and has done much more than any other country maybe in the game.

"That's why the problem we saw comes up again because people don't accept it.

"In this country, I find they are a model to copy in the (other) countries."

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