Manchester City fan accused of racism defends action as 'putting hands into pants'

A Manchester City fan accused of making racist gestures in Saturday’s derby defeat to United has denied he is racist.

Anthony Burke, 41, was caught on camera appearing to aim abuse toward Red Devils midfielder Fred as he went to take a corner kick.

It came as fans also threw a number of objects at the Brazilian in the 68th minute, with City players attempting to calm the fans down.

Burke, a father and army veteran, posted a message on Facebook defending his actions, claiming that he was ‘putting my hands in my pants’.

READ MORE: Manchester United beat rivals City as reigning champions fall 14 points behind Premier League leaders Liverpool

READ MORE: Kick It Out call for action after Manchester derby abuse

Manchester United's Fred reacts after objects are thrown at him during the Premier League match at the Etihad Stadium, Manchester. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)
Fred was hit as fans launched a number of missiles at him. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

He posted: “Listen, I'm only racist c*** because I had a screen shot that made me look it. However I ain't racist, watch the match half of it was me with me putting my hands in my pants.'

“Bullsh** not ar*** I know the true and I've already made appointment to speak to the police which I did so think what you like.”

City posted immediately after the match that they would ban any fan guilty of racist abuse for life, as Kick It Out called for swift action.

After Burke was arrested by Greater Manchester Police, he was subsequently suspended from his place of employment at Kier Group - where he works as a civil engineering manager.

Speaking after the match, Fred said: “Unfortunately, we are still in a backward society. [It is a shame] we still have to live with that in 2019. On the field, I didn't see anything. I saw it only in the locker room afterwards.

“The guys showed me... I try not to care about that. I try to look ahead. Unfortunately, this is happening in some stadiums. It happened here, it happened in Ukraine with some friends. It's sad, but we have to keep our heads up and forget about that.

“We can't give them any attention because that's all they want. I spoke to the referee after the match, they will do something about it and that's all. We are all the same regardless of skin colour, hair and gender.

Manchester United's Brazilian midfielder Fred (L) tries to take a corner kick after being pelted with objects from the crowd during the English Premier League football match between Manchester City and Manchester United at the Etihad Stadium in Manchester, north west England, on December 7, 2019. - Fred was hit by objects thrown from the crowd as he prepared to take a corner in the second half while footage on social media appeared to show a City fan mimicking a monkey at the Brazilian. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /  (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
The Manchester United midfielder was attempting to take a corner. (Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)
MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 07: Fred of Manchester United reacts after being hit by a lighter thrown from the crowd during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Etihad Stadium on December 07, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
Play was halted in the 68th minute as the Brazilian was hit. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

“We came from the same place and we all go to the same place when it's all said and done. Thank God I have a lot of friends here in the locker room who hugged me, like Lingard. I don't want to think about it. I just want to move on.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer made his fury at the abuse clear, especially after Fred and Jesse Lingard were hit by missiles launched by the fans.

He added: “We have to stamp it out. We keep talking about it every single week and it's not acceptable.”

The statement from the home side read: “Manchester City FC are aware of a video circulating on social media which appears to show a supporter making racial gestures.

“The club operates a zero tolerance policy regarding discrimination of any kind, and anyone found guilty of racial abuse will be banned from the club for life.”

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