Update: Police probe abuse of Norwich City’s Tom Adeyemi at Liverpool’s Anfield Stadium
PUBLISHED: 10:40 07 January 2012 | UPDATED: 12:56 07 January 2012
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A young Norwich City player has been caught up in controversy after being abused while playing in an FA Cup match at Liverpool’s Anfield stadium last night.
Midfielder Tom Adeyemi, 20, is currently enjoying a successful loan spell with League One club Oldham Athletic.
But the youngster appeared to be moved to tears following an ugly incident at the end of Oldham’s 5-1 defeat to the Premier League side and Merseyside Police have now launched an investigation.
Adeyemi appeared to take offence to something shouted from the famous Kop stand, which some national newspapers are today claiming involved a racist element.
Despite reassurance from his team-mates, Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and striker Dirk Kuyt, the on-loan Canaries player was visibly upset.
Liverpool FC confirmed an incident took place and said investigations were continuing, issuing a statement that said: “An incident occurred in the second half of the match which is now being investigated by both the club and the police.
“We will continue to work with the police to establish the details of what actually happened and will make a further statement in due course.”
Adeyemi is well known for being an intelligent young man as he turned down an unconditional offer from Cambridge University, after earning two A* A-Levels in biology and chemistry and a straight A in maths at Norwich School.
He has played 24 games for Oldham so far this season, scoring three times, and yesterday had his loan extended with the Latics until the end of January.
Oldham have said that parent-club Norwich City spoke to Adeyemi before the team left Anfield to offer their support and also contacted a club official asking to be kept informed of any further developments.
City’s chief executive, David McNally, posted on his Twitter account: “Will pass on your support for Tom. He is ok. LFC have assured us that the awful incident will be fully investigated.”
Merseyside Police said they had begun an investigation but confirmed there had been no arrests in relation to the incident.
A police spokesman said: “Merseyside Police can confirm that no-one has been arrested this evening, Friday 6 January, on suspicion of racially aggravated behaviour during tonight’s FA Cup fixture at Anfield.
“However, the Force and Liverpool Football Club are investigating following an incident that occurred during the second half of the game.
“The aim of the investigation is to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident to ascertain if action needs to be taken.”
Norwich City fans have been shocked by the incident, using internet message boards and Twitter to stick up for Adeyemi.
Former City ace Paul McVeigh said on Twitter: “Gutted to hear about Tom Adeyemi getting racially abused at Anfield. It couldn’t be more inappropriate as he’s the nicest kid in football.”
While North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb tweeted: “Dreadful what happened to Adeyemi. That’s why all clubs including Liverpool must be clear they won’t tolerate racism.”
The investigation takes place as Liverpool striker Luis Suarez is currently seeing out an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra.
Oldham captain, Dean Furman, has also sprung to the defence of Adeyemi, saying: “What happened should not happen in the game. It has been highlighted over the last few months and it is an absolute disgrace.
“When one of your boys is down like that we all feel it. Tom, the authorities and police will sort out the situation. I hope the authorities take heavy action because it was a disgrace.
“A lot of credit goes to Tom for the way he handled the situation.”