English Premier League club Portsmouth intend to make an official complaint to the Football Association over insults aimed at Sol Campbell by Spurs fans at Fratton Park last Sunday, whilst Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged authorities to act.
Campbell, who chose to leave Tottenham on a free transfer to rivals Arsenal in 2001, was subjected to prolonged homophobic abuse, with racist overtones.
Complaints from Portsmouth fans were made to Hampshire Police, who initially said they could not take action due to the huge number of Spurs fans involved.
The FA said it will ban for life any fans they can prove were connected.
In a statement Portsmouth said:
“Both Sol and the club feel no player should be subjected to personal abuse of this nature and that it has no place in football.
“The club will be urging the FA to look into this as a matter of urgency and will co-operate fully in any investigations which take place, either by the FA or by Hampshire Police.”
Meanwhile, a spokeswoman for Hampshire Police confirmed that one complaint had been made and that it would be investigated.
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger has urged the football authorities to root out individuals who abuse players.
“My reaction is that abuse cannot be tolerated from anybody towards anybody in the world,” said Wenger.
“How can you fight against it? You can single out people who do it. You can punish them individually by not letting them in, then maybe single out a group of people who go from game to game and do it.
“Sometimes stupidity is contagious as well and sometimes in the crowd there is a competition to see who can be more stupid. That is why you should not let these people be together.
“First of all, there is a big tolerance and the abuse only becomes singled out when it is racism. That is not the only abuse which you get in the stadium, but maybe people only get touched by it when it is racism. Insults of any kind should not be tolerated either.”
The treatment handed out to Campbell proved that England still has work to do to stamp out crowd abuse in the domestic game. However, Wenger still believes that this country is a role model for others in Europe.
“I think the racist abuse is much worse in some other countries than in England,” he said. “I believe that England has shown the right direction and the right way by not tolerating it and has done much more than any other country maybe in the game.
“That's why the problem we saw [at Fratton Park] comes up again because people don't accept it. In this country I find they are a model to copy. Most of the time when you visit other countries you meet this problem when you go more down to the south.”