Now Kolarov is caught in race storm

Police probe Manchester City's Serbian defender after apparent row with fan brandishing an Albanian flag

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The Independent Football

Manchester City's Aleksandar Kolarov will be investigated by police this week about alleged racist remarks made to an Albanian fan during his side's victory against Newcastle yesterday.

Kolarov, who was a substitute, was believed to have become embroiled in a verbal row with at least one supporter who was waving an Albanian flag as he warmed up on the sidelines during the game at St James' Park. Northumbria Police confirmed they have received a complaint from a supporter alleging that racist language was used by the 27-year-old Serbian player. There is a history of tension between Serbia and Albania, particularly over the disputed Kosovo region.

"Northumbria Police has received a report of racist language having been used at the St James' Park stadium during the Newcastle United-Manchester City match today," said a police statement. "Northumbria Police take such allegations extremely seriously and inquiries are ongoing into the incident."

The probe into Kolarov follows the recent row involving the Serbia and England Under-21 teams which resulted in Uefa punishments for racial abuse that have this week been criticised as too lenient.

Neither Manchester City nor Newcastle would comment on yesterday's incident, although it is understood that Kolarov will be questioned by police this week. He went on to replace Samir Nasri and was later substituted himself.

Manchester City are also likely to face an FA investigation after a smoke canister was thrown from their supporters into the Newcastle end after Sergio Aguero opened the scoring yesterday. The canister landed in the Newcastle family enclosure but nobody was hurt.

Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand was struck in the face by a coin thrown by a Manchester City supporter during last week's derby at the Etihad Stadium.