FA to investigate Islamophobic abuse

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The Football Association are investigating racist chanting directed at Middlesbrough striker Mido during the Tees-Tyne derby against Newcastle on Saturday.

The Egyptian was briefly subjected to Islamophobic taunts while he was warming up at the Riverside, in a repeat of scenes in the same fixture last season.

An FA spokesman told the Daily Telegraph: "We'll have to look at it. We'll speak to the clubs. This will most likely involve working with Newcastle to try to prevent it happening again."

He added: "The police may also be involved in helping identify any offenders because this is potentially a criminal offence. We want to make it clear you can't get away with chants like this."

Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate is hoping the culprits will be caught but does not believe Newcastle should be punished.

He said: "We have to rise above it. If people want to shout those things it's a reflection on them. There's a danger we go on a witch hunt. What do you do? Punish the club?

"They can't do anything about their travelling fans. It's individual decisions to sing what they want. I don't think that's fair. How can a club the size of Newcastle control individuals?

"It's a sensitive one and I understand the importance, but I don't want to put the pressure on an excellent club like Newcastle."

A spokesman for Newcastle added: "The club does not condone any sort of offensive chanting."

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Gareth Southgate

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