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Mar 29, 2011

German tourist admits to banana throw

A teenage German tourist has admitted to throwing a banana onto the pitch at Emirates Stadium during Scotland's friendly with Brazil, Arsenal have confirmed.

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Brazil striker Neymar scored twice during his side's 2-0 win but complained of racism after he was booed by Scotland's fans and a banana was seen to be thrown onto the playing surface after he'd converted a penalty.

His claims were rejected by the Scottish Football Association and fans' organisation the Tartan Army, which said he was jeered for his playacting during the match. Now the German tourist has owned up to the banana incident and the police are satisfied there was no racial element.

Arsenal said in a statement: "After consultation with the Metropolitan Police, Arsenal Football Club can confirm that a German teenage tourist has admitted throwing a banana onto the pitch during the Brazil v Scotland international friendly at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

"The youngster was sitting in the North Bank of Emirates Stadium, an area of the stadium which was occupied by the official allocation of tickets to Brazil supporters, when he threw the banana onto the pitch during the second half of the match.

"The Metropolitan Police is satisfied there was no racist intent and have confirmed that no further action will be taken."

The row overshadowed Neymar's silky performance, which attracted attention from the likes of Chelsea and Manchester City. After the match he said: "The entire stadium was jeering. This atmosphere of racism is totally sad. We leave our country to play here and something like this happens."

His claims were swiftly denied by Tartan Army spokesman Hamish Husband, who said: "Racism has no place in the Tartan Army and if it did, it would be stamped out immediately because we are self-policing.

"Any suggestion of racism from the Tartan Army, as far as I am concerned, is absolute rubbish."

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