A 20-year-old man arrested on suspicion of racially abusing Oldham footballer Tom Adeyemi during an FA Cup game against Liverpool has been released on bail, police said.
The man, from Aintree, was arrested on Sunday by Merseyside Police, who are investigating the incident which took place in the second half of the match at Anfield on Friday night.
Late in the FA Cup third-round fixture, the 20-year-old, on loan from Norwich, appeared to take offence at something shouted from the Kop. A police spokesman said the suspect, who was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence, has been released on bail pending further inquiries.
Gordon Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers Association, said he had spoken to Adeyemi about the incident.
He said: ''We can confirm that he was the victim of racist abuse towards the end of the Liverpool v Oldham FA Cup tie last Friday evening. This abuse came from a spectator sitting in the Kop section of the ground. 'Tom has given a full witness statement to the Merseyside police regarding the incident and will continue to assist the police fully in their enquiries.''
Despite reassurance from his team-mates and Liverpool players Dirk Kuyt and Steven Gerrard, right-back Adeyemi seemed close to tears following the incident. There then appeared to be discussion between the fourth official and a police officer down by the tunnel while the match was continuing.
Liverpool, who won the match 5-1, vowed to investigate the incident and released a statement on Sunday night offering their apologies to Adeyemi.
The statement said: ''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.
"Our supporters are renowned throughout the world for their outstanding commitment, passion and fairness. The actions of any one individual do not represent our fans. We have a very clearly stated public stance on discrimination and intolerance with dedicated staff that work hard daily on programs in this important area.
"Regarding the incident that occurred on Friday evening, we have given Merseyside police every possible assistance we can and will continue to provide the necessary support to their investigation in order to ensure this particular incident is dealt with properly. We will continue to take the strongest possible action(s) against unacceptable behaviour during our matches."