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Spanish football fan sentenced for making racist gestures at Old Trafford

|News

A Spanish man has been sentenced for racially aggravated public order at a football match.

Daniel Del Saz Garcia, 31, travelled from his home in Spain to attend Old Trafford on 15 March 2022 for the Champions League Manchester United vs Atletico Madrid game.

Before half time, a steward who was positioned at the home section, was appalled when he saw Del Saz Garcia, in the away section, making racist gestures towards a group of Asian fans in the home section.

Del Saz Garcia was detained at the scene and arrested by Greater Manchester Police. He made no comment in police interview.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) worked with the police to build a strong case against him which included eye witness evidence and a photograph of Del Saz Garcia making the racist gestures. The evidence was such that he had no option but to accept his actions that day.

He pleaded guilty and was sentenced today, 8 July 2022 at Manchester Magistrates Court to a £325 fine, uplifted from £250 for the racially aggravated element.

A football banning order was not made as Del Saz Garcia resides in Spain and any order would be impossible to enforce from the UK.

Julian White, Senior Crown Prosecutor for CPS North West said: “There is no place for hate in football. Mr Del Saz Garcia’s disgusting racist behaviour that day clearly caused distress to others.

“I would like to thank the steward for taking swift action and reporting his appalling behaviour, which has helped us bring him to justice.

“The CPS are committed to taking a robust stance towards tackling football related hate crime and disorder as we continue to play a crucial role in making sports such as football inclusive and safe to watch.”

The CPS is also currently working with the football clubs, player bodies and organisations, like the Premier League, the English Football League and the Football Association to explain what evidence is required to charge to help clubs and the leagues protect their players by ensuring we have all the evidence we need to build the strongest case possible.

Douglas Mackay of the CPS said: “Over recent years and months, hate crimes relating to sporting events have been on the rise. A recent UK Football Policing Unit report has shown a significant rise in football-related criminality compared to pre-pandemic levels. At the CPS, we play a crucial role in tackling these crimes and making our national sport inclusive and safe to watch. There is no place for hate in football, and hate crimes such as this has significant impact on victims.”

Notes to editors

  • Daniel Del Saz Garcia - DoB 05.07.1990

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