QPR worried by report on racist incident

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The Independent Football

The Queen's Park Rangers fan who allegedly racially abused former England international striker Ian Wright at a match on Tuesday has been bailed to return to a police station next month.

The 42-year-old was arrested at Loftus Road stadium after an incident in which Wright was confronted when he celebrated one of two goals scored by his son Shaun Wright-Phillips.

Manchester City won the Carling Cup third-round match 3-0 but the game was overshadowed by the Wright incident which caused frantic scenes in the directors' box and led to the Rangers fan being arrested.

Wright said: "Their guy started having a word about Shaun and it got racial."

A Scotland Yard spokesman said: "There were two arrests. In the first, a 42-year-old man was arrested regarding alleged abuse of a black spectator.

"In the second, a man aged 38 was arrested regarding abuse of an Asian QPR steward.

"They were taken to Shepherd's Bush police station and the 42-year-old has been bailed to return on 25 November, pending further enquiries."

The QPR chief executive, David Davies, said: "I'll defend my club to the hilt as this incident is by no means an example of the rest of the club.

"Do I think incidents like this are the norm for our stadium? Absolutely not. We're a well-balanced group of people, but there are always people on the fringes who behave badly.

"This is an incident we will deal with and have to be seen to deal with. It has to send a message to people who wouldn't think about having a pop at someone on the grounds of their colour.

"I can confirm there were a series of exchanges between Ian Wright and a spectator. I asked Ian to move away as a precautionary measure so it didn't escalate.

"Our security company removed the individual concerned from his seat and Ian and a series of witnesses gave statements to the police.

"The individual was formally arrested and taken away from the ground. It's now in the hands of the police and we'll see what comes from it."

A key witness in any Football Association investigation is likely to be the match delegate, who was one of two people sitting between Wright and the fan who abused him. The referee, Steve Dunn, confirmed the assessor was in the midst of the confrontation.

Dunn said: "The match delegate witnessed what happened and I guess his report will be with the Football League and the FA." Davies admitted he was worried about the delegate's report. "The greatest problem for us as a club is the delegate was one of two people sitting between Ian and the person involved," he added. "He was, quite frankly, appalled by the actions of the individual."

Of the second arrest, Davies said: "I can confirm there was another arrest early in the second half. The incidents were not connected but it was also for racial abuse, aimed at a steward."

On a night which leaves QPR facing the prospect of an FA investigation, a bottle was thrown at City's Michael Tarnat as he prepared to take a corner.

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