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POLICE HUNT FOR FAN WHO THREW BANANA DURING TOTTENHAM v ARSENAL
SportingPreview.com: 4 March 2013

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Police have launched an investigation after a banana was thrown at Gareth Bale during the North London Derby between Tottenham and Arsenal on Sunday afternoon.

Tottenham staff are working with officers and reviewing CCTV to establish the identity of the supporter who launched the fruit at Bale from the Arsenal section as the forward attempted to take a corner in the 27th minute.

Assistant referee Darren Cann picked up the banana and removed it from the pitch but no further action appeared to be taken at the time.

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Arsenal have vowed to ban the guilty fan for life, saying they operate a zero-tolerance policy towards any such act, and will therefore ban anyone who is found guilty of throwing the banana.

The Metropolitan Police will prosecute the person responsible if located, given it is an offence to throw an object on to a football pitch.

Usually such action carries racist overtones, as when Mario Balotelli was taunted with inflatable bananas during the recent Milan derby, but in this case the yob supporter seemed to be mocking Bale's appearance.

The FA say they are awaiting a report from their crowd control adviser, who is likely to have noted down the incident, and will make every effort to identify the person responsible.

Spurs striker Emmanuel Adebayor also taunted over the horrific shootings in Angola while on international duty with Togo in 2010.

Tottenham manager Andre Villa-Boas taunted Arsenal after the game by saying that his Spurs side have sent The Gunners' season spinning into a "spiral of doom".

AVB saw his side move seven points clear of their fierce rivals with two first-half goals in the space of two minutes from Gareth Bale - his 20th of an outstanding campaign - and Aaron Lennon just before the break proved enough to hold off the Gunners, who had started the game well and rallied after Per Mertesacker's header on 51 minutes, but failed to find an equaliser.

This was the Gunners' third defeat in four games and AVB crowed: "They are now in a negative spiral in terms of results — it will be extremely difficult for them to get out of it."

Tottenham's victory puts them back in the box seat for Champions League qualification with 10 games to go and they also have the prospect of finishing above the Gunners in the league for the first time since 1995.

AVB said: "This win is obviously very important for what it means. But nothing is finished yet and we still have to fight hard.

"We play Liverpool in the league next and that can be another big weekend for us as we to try to profit from another important fixture.

"There is still so much to go. This time last year Arsenal made the difference of seven points and we know how it finished.

"Now the motivation is the difference. We are extremely confident, they are on a low and for them to jump back will be very difficult."


Andre Villas-Boas was quoted in The Sun.


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