Man City keeper Ederson distances himself from Tommy Robinson after photo with anti-Islam activist

Robinson aide appears to suggest the footballer had offered 'his full support'

Adam Withnall
Wednesday 01 May 2019 08:22

Manchester City’s Brazilian goalkeeper Ederson Moraes has been forced to distance himself from the far-right political leader Tommy Robinson, after the pair were seen arm-in-arm in a photograph.

Ederson, who signed for champions Manchester City two years ago for a then-world record fee for a goalkeeper, says he “had no idea who he [Robinson] was” when he posed for the picture.

The two were seen together on a residential street in a photograph shared on Twitter by Danny Tommo, an aide to Robinson. Tommo wrote that it showed “Tommy Robinson meeting city's golden boy @edersonmoraes93 last night, has his full support while in Manchester”. The post has received around two thousand interactions.

Ederson has now responded swiftly to reject the suggestion that he supports Robinson, replying to the tweet: “People have made me aware of who this guy is. I definitely not support this guy or his ideas. He just stopped me for a picture. I had no idea who he was.”

The footballer added, in brackets, “do not be a liar”.

Robinson, an anti-Islam activist whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, is a former member of the British National Party (BNP) and was a founding member of the English Defence League (EDL).

He was jailed for 13 months in May last year after he filmed people involved in a criminal trial and broadcast the footage on social media, but the contempt finding was quashed by the Court of Appeal in August.

In March, the attorney general Geoffrey Cox concluded it was in the public interest for Robinson to face fresh contempt of court charges.

Robinson announced last week that he would be standing as an MEP candidate for the north-west of England.

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