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Two Burnley fans charged after incident at Brighton match

Police man in uniform

Published by Laura Pratt at 3:15pm 12th February 2019 (Updated 4:30pm 12th February 2019)

Two Burnley fans have been charged after an incident at the Burnley vs Brighton match on Saturday (9/2/19).

The two men, aged 18 and 53, will appear in court on Thursday (14/2/19).

It's after stewards at the Amex Stadium in Brighton were called to reports of racist abuse in the away end.

One of the men hurled racist abuse during the match - which Burnley won 3-1.

During the game, Brighton defender Gaetan Bong was once again subjected to boos from opposition fans after last season's racism row with Burnley-born West Brom striker Jay Rodriguez.​

The two men were ejected from the stadium and arrested by Sussex Police.

Nathan Higgins, 18, a student, of Talbot Drive, Burnley, Lancashire, has been charged with using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress, and using racially aggravated threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Stewart Higgins, 53, an engineer, both of Talbot Drive, Burnley, Lancashire, has been charged with using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

The news follows a string of incidents and suggestions from campaigners that discrimination in football is on the rise.​

Earlier this month, Brighton boss Chris Hughton called for supporters who abuse footballers to be punished "as hard as possible".​

His comments came after Bong had been subjected to boos and derogatory chants when he came on as a substitute in Wednesday's FA Cup fourth-round replay win against West Bromwich Albion.​

In January 2018, Bong accused Rodriguez of making a racist comment, an allegation which was "not proven" following an investigation by the Football Association.​

Both defendants were released on unconditional bail and are due to appear before Brighton Magistrates’ Court on on Thursday.

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