Racism is widespread in English football, with police having to deal with hundreds of incidents from the top of the game right down to grassroots level, an investigation has revealed.
It also showed Chelsea supporters have been involved in the most number of reported racist incidents as they travelled to and from matches on trains.
It follows the high-profile case of a black man who was prevented from boarding a train in Paris by Chelsea fans as they sang a racist song, with five of them due in court this week.
The information, gathered by the Press Association from 24 police forces, shows there have been more than 350 incidents since 2012.
However, as that only accounts for around half the police forces in the country, the actual figure is likely to be much higher.
The charity Show Racism The Red Card said the number of incidents shows racism is a societal problem and it was particularly shocked by the number of incidents of racist abuse at children’s matches.
The British Transport Police said that, since 2012, it had dealt with 15 incidents of alleged racism involving Chelsea fans, the most of any club in the country.
Manchester United were second with 10 incidents, followed by Leeds with 10, West Ham with eight, Arsenal with four, and Portsmouth with four. Greater Manchester police reported 46 incidents, while
Hertfordshire Police recorded 11 incidents of alleged racist abuse at children’s games.
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