Arsenal and Leeds condemn vile abuse sent to Nicolas Pepe and Ezgjan Alioski after Elland Road clash

Arsenal and Leeds have condemned the “vile abuse” directed towards Nicolas Pepe and Ezgjan Alioski in the wake of Sunday’s match at Elland Road.

Arsenal’s Pepe and Leeds’ Alioski were subjected to abuse online after they clashed during Sunday’s 0-0 draw.

Pepe was, shown a red card in the 51st minute after butting heads with Alioski and now both players have been targeted online.

Ivory Coast international Pepe has received racist abuse on social media, while Alioski is also understood to have been abused too.

A statement from Arsenal on Monday morning read: “We utterly condemn the vile abuse directed at Nicolas Pepe and Ezgjan Alioski on social media following our match against Leeds United.

“This is completely unacceptable and we will be working with the police and authorities to do everything we can to trace and prosecute the culprits.”

Leeds were also swift to speak out and said: “The vile abuse directed at Ezgjan Alioski and Nicolas Pepe on social media after yesterday’s Premier League game with Arsenal will not be tolerated by Leeds United.

“We will work closely with the police and the footballing authorities to ensure those responsible are identified and punished.”

News of the racist abuse suffered by Pepe emerged on Sunday night. Former England and Chelsea winger Shaun Wright-Phillips posted a screenshot of some of the abuse targeted at Pepe on social media and said: “And Twitter say they are protecting people from racial abuse! When is it enough and when will it stop?!?”.

The abuse has prompted a strong response from anti-discrimination campaigners Kick It Out and their chair, Sanjay Bhandari, said on Monday morning: “We all have to take a stand against hate. We are pleased to see that Arsenal and Leeds are united in seeking to identify the individuals responsible . 

“We hope the police now identify the perpetrators and the appropriate action is taken.”


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