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12 March 2012, 16:13
The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) say a man arrested on suspicion of racially abusing Oldham footballer Tom Adeyemi won’t be charged.
The man, aged 20 and from Aintree in Liverpool, was arrested after match officials made a complaint to Merseyside Police.
During the second half of the FA Cup third-round fixture on January 6, Adeyemi appeared to take offence at something shouted from the Kop stand at Anfield.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who is on loan from Norwich, alleged a fan had shouted a racially abusive comment at him as he was retrieving the ball from near the crowd. Adeyemi reported the incident to the referee. The referee notified the fourth official, who then notified the police.
The CPS said that after police interviews with the footballer and the suspect, and viewing “enhanced” CCTV footage, there was insufficient evidence to bring any criminal charges.
In police interviews, the 20-year-old man admitted shouting at the player, but denied it was of a racial nature. Witness statements from others in the crowd “tend” to support the man's version of events.
Jane Roden, head of the complex casework unit at CPS Merseyside, said: “There are two important factors I have relied upon when making my decision: the enhanced CCTV footage and the high proportion of witness statements which tend to support the suspect's version of events.
“On the balance of all of the evidence, I have therefore concluded that there is insufficient evidence to bring any criminal charges in this case and I have advised Merseyside Police of my decision.”
Oldham Athletic has issued the following statement about the Crown Prosecution Service disicion.
Director Barry Owen said: "The events of the evening were unsavoury in respect of the incident, but should not detract from a fantastic night for our players and spectators alike.
"As a club, we accept the difficulties for all concerned investigating a matter such as this and, without reservation, accept the decision.
"I have not been able to discuss the issue with the player, but I am sure his agent or legal representative will make any comment they deem necessary."