Arsenal and Leeds condemn online abuse of Pépé and Alioski

Ivory Coast forward was sent-off for incident with Macedonian during Elland Road draw

Leeds United’s Ezgjan Alioski reacts after an indicent with Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe. Photograph: Molly Darlington/PA

Leeds United’s Ezgjan Alioski reacts after an indicent with Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe. Photograph: Molly Darlington/PA

 

Leeds and Arsenal have both released statements condemning racist abuse directed towards Ezgjan Alioski and Nicolas Pépé online after the players clashed during their sides’ goalless draw at Elland Road.

Pépé was sent off after pushing his forehead into that of his opponent, who went down dramatically, in the culmination of a series of niggles between the pair. Since then they have both been targeted on social media and there are also suggestions threats were directed towards Alioski’s family. Their clubs will work with the police in order to ensure the perpetrators are punished.

“The vile abuse directed at Ezgjan Alioski and Nicolas Pépé on social media after yesterday’s Premier League game with Arsenal will not be tolerated by Leeds United,” the Leeds statement read. “We will work closely with the police and the footballing authorities to ensure those responsible are identified and punished.”

Arsenal struck a similar note, saying: “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.”

The Ivorian international Pépé will serve a three-match ban after his dismissal, missing the Premier League games with Wolves, Spurs and Burnley. - Guardian

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