A 39-year-old Gillingham fan has been arrested after allegations of racially aggravated assault against Lincoln City player Cohen Bramall, during the Imps’ opening game of the League One season.
Fans were allowed back in the stadium without coronavirus restrictions for the first time since March 2020 over the weekend, as the English Football League season kicked off.
Lincoln City began their season away at Gillingham, drawing 1-1 thanks to Tayo Edun’s fourth minute opener, which was then cancelled out by a scrappy equaliser by Danny Lloyd.
The match appears to have been marred by some unsavoury scenes after Lincoln’s goal, when Tayo Edun wheeled away to celebrate by the corner flag before being shoved by a Gillingham fan.
This sparked a reaction from the Imps players, as Cohen Bramall shoved the fan back before an exchange of words took place between the two.
Bramall was visibly upset, and the game took five minutes to restart following the incident.
After the game, Imps boss Michael Appleton told BBC Radio Lincolnshire that police are investigating the allegations.
He said: “It’s a police incident, they’ll have to take statements from Cohen, it’s for them to get on with it and we’ll clearly back our players 100%. You think you’re getting close to dealing with it and eradicating it, but clearly we’re not.”
Kent Police have confirmed that a “39-year-old man from Gillingham was arrested in connection with a racially aggravated assault.”
The man was arrested at 3.15pm, just 10 minutes after the goal and incident, when he was escorted out the Priestfield Stadium on Saturday.
He has been released on police bail whilst enquiries continue.
After the game, Lincoln City posted a message of support on social media, condemning discrimination at all levels.