A 15-year-old has been arrested on suspicion of allegedly racially abusing Everton players during their FA Cup fourth round victory at Carlisle.
Striker Arouna Kone and midfielder Aaron Lennon were both reportedly targeted with “racial remarks” after they scored for the Premier League side at Brunton Park, with their South African team-mate Steven Pienaar also said to have received racial taunts during the match.
Cumbria Police confirmed shortly after the full-time whistle that they were investigating a report of racial abuse, with both Everton manager Roberto Martinez and Carlisle boss Keith Curle condemning those responsible after the abuse was picked up by broadcasters BT Sport.
Police have since arrested a 15-year-old boy from Carlisle, with the teenager held on suspicion of racially aggravated harassment by words contrary to Section 4a of the Public Order Act.
The boy was later released on bail pending further inquiries, with Carlisle United working together with Cumbria Police to identify any other suspects.
Curle confirmed that an incident had been acknowledged by the match officials during the game, and that the club would do everything they could to ensure it does not happen again.
“It was Kone and Lennon – the referee came over after the first goal and said some comments were made and some of the payers heard some comments,” Curle said afterwards. “I spoke to the fourth official. An announcement was made to say it’s not tolerated within the boundaries of any football club and not accepted within the stadium.
“Yes, it’s not what we want inside our club, inside football or inside society. The club will make all the efforts - I know they’ve got stewards and CCTV. The football club will not stop to identify who it was.
“[It was the] ref’s decision to do the tannoy announcement, to highlight it and make sure it doesn’t happen again. If you heard or say anything please step forward and identify who was responsible.”
After the 3-0 victory, Martinez said he was happy with the way the incident was dealt with, as referee Lee Mason ordered a message to be played over the stadium tannoy to warn those in the stands that action would be taken against anyone found to be using racist and abusive language.
"I thought it was dealt with in a very good manner," the Spaniard said.