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Suspect in Anfield racial abuse probe out on bail

Updated: January 08, 2012, 14:33


Oldham Athletic's Tom Adeyemi reacts after a comment from a member of the crowd during their FA Cup third round soccer match against Liverpool at Anfield, Liverpool, England, Friday Jan. 6, 2012. (AP Photo/Tim Hales)

MANCHESTER, England(AP) Liverpool apologized Sunday to the opposing player who was allegedly racially abused during an FA Cup match at Anfield and distanced itself from the person arrested by police in connection with the incident.

Oldham defender Tom Adeyemi was reduced to tears by insults from fans during Friday's 5-1 loss at Liverpool and had to be comforted by teammates and opposing players toward the end of the third-round match.

Merseyside police arrested a 20-year-old man from Aintree on Saturday on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offense and released him on Sunday pending further inquiries.

In a statement, Liverpool stressed that "the actions of any one individual do not represent our fans.''

"Whatever the outcome of what is now a police investigation, all of us are deeply sorry for what happened on Friday night and our players and our Club pass on our sincere regrets to Tom Adeyemi for the upset and distress he suffered as a result of the matter at hand,'' the statement added. "Our supporters are renowned throughout the world for their outstanding commitment, passion and fairness. They are drawn from nationalities across the globe with widely diverse backgrounds and heritages.''

The incident took place after Liverpool striker Luis Suarez started serving an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United defender Patrice Evra during a match in October at Anfield.

Liverpool said it has "been forthright and resolute for many years in its stance against racism and any form of discrimination.''

"The club has worked actively to combat discrimination and has been at the forefront of social inclusion and community activity in football, winning awards and commendations for its work throughout the world,'' the 18-time English champions said. "And this club is determined to continue its part in working with the game's ruling bodies and the other organizations active in this area.''

Adeyemi has now spoken to police, according to the players' union.

"We can confirm that he was the victim of racist abuse,'' said Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association.

"This abuse came from a spectator sitting in the Kop section of the ground,'' Taylor added. "Tom has given a full witness statement to the Merseyside police regarding the incident and will continue to assist the police fully in their inquiries.''

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