A MAN is due to appear in court charged with posting racist abuse directed at Newcastle United on a social networking site.
Northumbria Police said Peter Copeland, 29, from West Rainton, County Durham, is due to appear before Sunderland Magistrates Court on Monday, February 6.
The abuse, alleged to have focused on the number of black players the club has in its squad, was posted on the Twitter site after news that the Magpies were in the process of signing Senegalese striker Papiss Demba Cisse from German club Freiburg.
A police spokesman said Copeland had been charged with two offences in connection with the Malicious Communications Act.
The tweet concerned is understood to have been made from an account which was later deleted.
A force spokeswoman confirmed action was taken in relation to, “a racist tweet directed towards Newcastle United”.
She said: “Northumbria Police takes all reports of racist abuse very seriously.”
A club spokesman said: “Newcastle United is appalled by the racist comments made on Twitter in reference to the club and its players. Newcastle United has a zero tolerance approach to racism and will be working with Northumbria Police to identify those responsible for such abhorrent remarks.”
Numerous complaints were said to have been received by the force from about 6pm yesterday, only hours after news emerged of United’s impending signing of 26-year-old striker Cisse. Copeland is the second man to be charged with football-related racial abuse online this month.
A 21-year-old man has been charged with racially abusing the former Premier League footballer Stan Collymore on Twitter.
Joshua Cryer, 21, of Jesmond, Newcastle, was charged with “a Section Five racial public order offence and a Section Five public order offence”.
A police spokesman said Cryer would appear before Newcastle magistrates on Monday, January 23.
Collymore, 40, from Cannock in Staffordshire, now works as a broadcaster for Talksport radio, campaigns against racism and is a supporter of the Depression Alliance.