Schmeichel faces racist abuse charge
Friday 21 February 1997
While everyone expected the Arsenal striker to be charged with misconduct by the Football Association for his behaviour at Highbury on Wednesday night, it was the Manchester United goalkeeper who found himself in deeper trouble.
Wright's complaint that he subjected him to racial abuse during last November's Premiership game at Old Trafford had not, as everyone believed, been quietly shelved.
Instead, the police have been carrying out an extensive investigation and papers have now been lodged with the Crown Prosecution Service.
There were no close witnesses to the alleged incident, but several lip- readers claimed that television pictures showed the Danish international swearing at Wright and, if the CPS decides that evidence is strong enough, Schmeichel will find himself in a unique test case.
"There has been a long-running police investigation into the original incident at Old Trafford," Steve Double, an FA spokesman, said. "As a result of police inquiries into the alleged racist remarks a report has been compiled and is currently being considered by the Crown Prosecution Service."
It would be the third time that United players have found themselves in a criminal court. Eric Cantona assaulted a Crystal Palace fan with his infamous kung-fu leap two years ago, while Paul Ince was acquitted for his part in the same incident.
Schmeichel could also find himself in trouble with the FA for the tunnel scuffle with Wright after Arsenal's 2-1 defeat on Wednesday.
Arsenal believe he provoked Wright, who needed restraining by three policemen and the physiotherapist, Gary Lewin. Inquiries were continuing yesterday to see if there may have been a racist element to the incident.
Schmeichel was incensed by Wright's reckless, two-footed lunge which has left him with a badly-bruised ankle and doubtful for tomorrow's game at Chelsea. The keeper was seen wagging his finger at Wright.
Arsenal, conscious of the bad blood between the pair, had taken precautions to isolate Wright as he came off, crowding the tunnel area with police and stewards. But United appeared to leave their goalkeeper to his own devices and he seemed to be involved in exchanges all the way down the crowded Highbury pitch exit.
Significantly, the FA has received an independent report on what happened from the match observer, Kelvin Morton, but it will not make any comment or decision until the match referee, Martin Bodenham, submits his summary.
He did not see the scuffles but the police officers involved gave him a full account and he has indicated that it will feature prominently in his report.
Indications are that Wright, who collected a booking which will already ensure another two-match ban, will certainly face a misconduct charge.
Arsenal's manager, Arsene Wenger, defended Wright on the night and refused to comment further yesterday, although having reviewed television pictures of the tackle, following through on the goalkeeper though whistled offside, Wenger may change his mind.
However, with Arsenal five points behind and a game worse off than the leaders, United, Wenger can ill afford to suspend Wright, who is one of the club's most popular players.
Warnock for Oldham, page 24
Latest in Sport
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao live: Mayweather puts on defensive masterclass to win by unanimous decision
What time does Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao begin on Sky Sports Box Office?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: What time does the fight start and what channel is it on?
Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao: Only 132 pubs in the United Kingdom will show the fight - so where can you watch it?
- 1 Which country would be hardest to invade?
- 3 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
Indonesia executions live: 'Hysterical' families heard prisoners being shot dead by firing squad
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
EU exit would hit UK economy much harder than neighbouring countries, study finds
£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...
£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...