Shamik Das reports on the student accused of sending racist tweets about Bolton footballer Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed in the match against Spurs on Satuday.
The football world united this weekend in praying for the recovery of Fabrice Muamba, who collapsed on the pitch during Bolton’s FA Cup tie at Spurs on Saturday.
The display of unity showed the sport at its best, with well-wishers from around the country leaving flowers and messages of support at Bolton’s Reebok Stadium and The London Chest Hospital, where Muamba is being treated – yet today, news emerged of the ugly, unacceptable side of the sport, nay society, crawling out from the gutter, with a young man in court accused of sending racist tweets.
Twenty-one-year-old student Liam Stacey was released on bail after pleading guilty to a racially-aggrevated public order offence – having earlier claimed his account had been hacked, later recanting and telling police “I’m not racist and some of my friends are from different cultural backgrounds”.
BBC Wales reports:
He was arrested after his comments on the social networking site were reported by other users. He has been released on bail and is due to be sentenced on March 27th. Prosecutor Lisa Jones told the court: “Fabrice Muamba collapsed on the pitch and was believed to have died.” The court heard shortly afterwards Stacey posted the offensive comments.
Magistrates were told police forces across Britain received complaints following the comments. Stacey tried to “distance himself” from the tweets by claiming his account had been hacked, the court was told. Magistrates heard he later tried to delete his page but he was arrested on Sunday at his student house in Swansea…
Stacey was told in court that he could be jailed over the comments. He has been bailed until he is sentenced and has been ordered not to use Twitter and other social networking sites.
• Has racism returned to football? 25 Oct 2011
Encouraging news on Muamba’s condition emerged this evening, with the footballer showing small signs of improvement, moving his arms and legs – and tonight, in the best news so far, friends who have visited him say he is speaking again. Let’s all hope he makes a full recovery.