Nine Charlton Athletic fans held over racist chants

Man led away after being arrested Charlton Athletic FC will ban for life anyone found guilty

Nine men have been arrested by police investigating suspected racist chanting by football fans.

Police received reports of a group of Charlton Athletic supporters singing racist songs on a train following their FA Cup tie at Fulham on 7 January.

Officers visited homes in Bexley, Greenwich, Lewisham and Bromley, all in south-east London, and arrested the men aged between 20 and 30.

They remain in police custody at a north London station.

Charlton Athletic chief executive Stephen Kavanagh said: "This kind of abhorrent behaviour is totally condemned by our club and, in addition to assisting the police, for our own part we will be seeking to ban for life anyone who is found guilty of racially offensive chanting."

Det Insp Ashley Cooper, from British Transport Police, said: "We launched Operation Midas after a group of men, who we believe to be Charlton Athletic supporters, boarded a train at Putney and were heard chanting racist songs - something which was both offensive and extremely intimidating for other passengers on board.

"My team of detectives have worked quickly to gather evidence and, by working closely with Charlton Athletic FC, coupled with excellent CCTV footage, intelligence reports and statements from witnesses, we've been able to move swiftly and make this morning's arrests."

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