Schmeichel faces racist abuse charge

Peter Schmeichel could become the first footballer to face criminal charges for alleged racist abuse as his feud with Ian Wright burst back into life.

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

Sport
sportWWE latest including Sting vs Triple H, Brock Lesnar vs Roman Reigns and The Undertaker vs Bray Wyatt
Arts and Entertainment
Louis Theroux: By Reason of Insanity takes him behind the bars again
tvBy Reason of Insanity, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing