ASTON VILLA have reacted with outrage, with the club saying they are ‘‘disgusted and appalled’’ by footage showing some of their fans racially abusing Marvelous Nakamba on Saturday.
The ugly chants, by a small section of the Villa fans, have once again thrown racism in football under the spotlight just a few weeks after FIFA president, Gianni Infantino, vowed to eliminate the cancer from the game.
It also marred Villa’s five-star show in which Nakamba was outstanding at Carrow Road where they crushed injury-hit Norwich City 5-1, under the gaze of royalty with their number one fan, Prince William, and his family.
Six-year-old Prince George, third in line as heir to the throne in British monarchy, even wore a Villa T-shirt.
This was the first time the Birmingham side had scored five goals in an English Premiership match away from home since a 6-0 win at Derby County in April 2008.
Villa also became the first promoted side to score five goals, away from home, in the Premiership since Bolton Wanderers at Leicester in August 2001 while Norwich suffered their biggest home defeat in the top-flight since April 2012 when they slumped to a 1-6 loss against Manchester City.
It was also Villa’s first away win in the Premiership in 1 519 days.
The racist Villa fans chanted Nakamba’s father was a ‘‘rasta,’’ and the player’s Scottish midfield teammate John McGinn was his ‘‘master,’’ while also mocking the Zimbabwean’s manhood.
The footage was widely shown on social media and led to Villa reacting strongly yesterday.
‘‘Aston Villa is disgusted and appalled by footage circulating on social media of supporters chanting a racist song which makes reference to two of our first team players (Nakamba and McGinn),’’ the club said in a statement.
‘‘The club wholly condemns the chant and urges other supporters to help us identify those responsible.
‘‘Chants of this nature besmirch the good name of Aston Villa Football Club and our fans. If the perpetrators are identified, they will be dealt with in the strongest manner by the club and be reported to the police immediately.
‘‘Our security staff will be vigilant at forthcoming games to ensure that anybody attempting repetition of this chant will be dealt with severely.
‘‘We know we can rely on the assistance of the majority of our fans to eradicate this toxic behaviour immediately. If anyone has any information please contact the club on 0121 327 2299.’’
The Aston Villa Supporters’ Trust on Sunday also released a statement in which they condemned the fans for their chants.
“AVST is disappointed to hear about the chanting directed towards Marvelous Nakamba. It’s a cheap and insulting stereotype that has no place in this day and age,’’ the statement read.