Valencia have released an official statement after video footage emerged of a small number of their fans making Nazi salutes towards Arsenal supporters last night.
The Gunners beat the Spanish side 3-1, but video circulated on social media afterwards showing some of the visitors behaving in a manner which should not be tolerated by anybody in this day and age.
This afternoon, via their website, they promised to identify the culprits, but also suggested that they may have been provoked by home supporters.
In regards to the footage from the stands at Arsenal’s stadium being shared on social media, Valencia CF:
1. Publicly condemns and expresses its utter disgust and absolute intolerance, as it always has, towards these isolated gestures coming from the visitor stands which in no way represent the Valencian fanbase.
2. Is working alongside its legal team and the appropriate authorities to identify those responsible and, in the case that they are VCF season-ticket holders, to take corresponding disciplinary action, for which it asks for the collaboration and cooperation of other fans present in said stand.
3. While these actions are completely unjustifiable under any circumstances, VCF is also working to obtain more information about any possible provocations leading up to the verbal and gesticular exchange between the home and away stands.
While their outright condemnation is welcome, there is always back and forth between home and away fans, and regardless of what that entailed there’s no way to justify Nazi salutes, so it’s a shame they’ve added that to their statement.
They say it’s unjustifiable, so there’s no need to muddy the waters. There needs to be a zero tolerance approach to this sort of behaviour, the same would and should apply if it were Arsenal fans making those gestures.
As football fans we have teams and stadiums full of different nationalities, races, religions and sexualities, and what brings us together is the game.
There’s no place for anyone who wants to cause division based on those differences. Let’s hope Valencia identify those people and deal with them appropriately.
Arsenal also made a brief statement, saying, “We utterly condemn such behaviour. It has no place in society or football.
“We continue to encourage fans to report incidents and to provide witness statements so effective action can be taken.”