East Preston man among Brighton and Hove Albion and Chelsea fans arrested for 'racist and homophobic abuse'

Three men have been arrested in relation to hate crimes at a football match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Chelsea.

Sussex Police said fans of both teams were arrested yesterday (January 1) on suspicion of using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour to cause harassment, alarm or distress (homophobic abuse).

A general view of the Amex Stadium ahead of the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Everton at Amex Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

A general view of the Amex Stadium ahead of the Premier League match between Brighton and Hove Albion and Everton at Amex Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Brighton, England. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

A 21-year-old man from Brighton - a home fan - was released on conditional bail until January 29, police said.

A 56-year-old man from Portslade, also a Brighton and Hove Albion fan, was released under investigation pending further enquiries, as was a 21-year-old East Preston man from among the Chelsea supporters.

The arrests were made by officers working with club stewards, police added.

Earlier today, the club's chief executive and deputy chairman Paul Barber released a statement condemning the abuse. He said: “Yet again our safety and stewarding team, along with Sussex Police, have had to deal with three separate and unwanted instances of disgusting racist and homophobic abuse."

Read more about Paul's response to the abuse here: Three fans arrested for racist and homophobic abuse during Brighton vs Chelsea
Both teams settled for a 1-1 draw in the New Years' Day fixture after Alireza Jahanbakhsh's stunning overhead kick cancelled out Chelsea captain Cesar Azpilicueta's opener.