Police launch investigation after Birmingham star Juninho Bacuna reports racist abuse at West Brom | Football

Birmingham’s Juninho Bacuna reported racist abuse in the side’s defeat at West Brom (Picture: Sky Sports)

West Midlands Police have confirmed they have opened an investigation into the alleged racist abuse Juninho Bacuna suffered during Birmingham’s Championship clash with local rivals West Brom.

Andreas Weimann netted in the 85th minute to secure a 1-0 win and all three points for hosts West Brom, but the Hawthorns clash was marred by the unsavoury incident which occurred in dying moments of the game.

Referee David Webb stopped play as Birmingham midfielder Bacuna reported the alleged racism he had witnessed in the home stand to the officials and senior stewards on the touchline.

It’s the second time Bacuna has complained of racist abuse in the Championship this season, with the 26-year-old Curacao international alerting officials to a similar incident during Birmingham’s 4-1 win over Huddersfield back in October.

Speaking after the Baggies’ win, Birmingham head coach Tony Mowbray said there needed to be ‘stronger consequences’ for supporters directing vile comments at players from the stands.

‘Juninho made the referee aware that there was racial abuse. He’s not very happy,’ Mowbray told Sky Sports.

‘I think it is getting dealt with downstairs. It’s sad, it’s not the first time.

It’s the second time Bacuna has complained of racist abuse this season (Picture: Getty)

‘A few weeks ago a former player of mine, Coventry’s Kasey Palmer, received it.

‘The consequences need to be stronger over what punishment people face.

‘If you shout something you must be able to think ‘I’ll never watch football again.’

An official statement from Birmingham read: ‘The club can confirm that in the second-half of Saturday afternoon’s Sky Bet Championship game versus West Bromwich Albion at the Hawthorns, Juninho Bacuna reported an incident of racism to the referee, David Webb.

‘This will be included in the official’s match report and the club will assist the FA, the EFL and the authorities accordingly.

‘Birmingham City thanks the West Brom stewards, security and executive team who acted immediately and the issue is now with West Midlands Police.

‘The Football Club offers its full and unwavering support to Juninho. No further comment will be made at this time.’

Weimann celebrates scoring for West Brom against Birmingham

Weimann scored the only goal of the game at the Hawthorns (Picture: Getty)

West Midlands Police have confirmed they will be investigating CCTV footage from the stadium and intend to prosecute should they find evidence of racist abuse aimed at Bacuna.

‘We’re investigating after a Birmingham City player was racially abused during the game at the Hawthorns today,’ a West Midlands Police spokesperson told The Mirror.

‘We’ll be looking at CCTV and working with both clubs to identify who was responsible, and offer support to the player.

‘We do not tolerate racist abuse in any form either in football or society in general, and we will seek to prosecute anyone who commits hate crime.’


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