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'Kick It Out' express concerns over Stoke fans behaviour

Kick It Out have reported a rise in race-related abuse at football grounds - with Stoke's Britannia Stadium a cause for concern. This is following claims that wheelchair users were targeted at the Potters Britannia Stadium.

Lord Herman Ouseley, founder of football's equality and inclusion campaign, feels the economic downturn could be playing a part in the results found.

"When social situations worsen, there is a decline of tolerance," said Lord Ouseley, "General frustration in people's every day life spills over into racial, homophobic or other extreme forms of abuse when times are tough.

"People look for targets and scapegoats. It happened in previous recessions in the 1970s and again in the early 90s. Some of the Premier League's younger fans won't remember this but we are seeing parallels."

Kick It Out's findings highlighted the incident at Stoke and the abuse suffered by Sol Campbell and Mido.

Also reported were claims that a Tottenham supporter was racially abused, chased out of a pub by Arsenal fans onto the A41 dual carriageway where he suffered injuries after being hit by a car.

PFA chairman and Leicester defender Chris Powell added: "With rising unemployment and general financial uncertainty, crime rises, tensions rise and people lash out.

"The gap between privileged and poor comes under the spotlight at Christmas like no other time. They'll be packed together in one place and it could fuel an already volatile situation."

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