Football fan charged after ‘offensive comments about Munich air disaster’

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A football fan has been charged with a public order offence after allegedly making offensive comments about the Munich air disaster in a video circulating on social media.

James Edward Jeffrey Blake was charged with using threatening or abusive words or behaviour likely to cause harassment, alarm or distress, the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) said.

The footage circulated online after Newcastle United beat Manchester City at St James’ Park on Wednesday, according to Northumbria Police.

The force was made aware of the video on Thursday and arrested Blake a day later.

Police said he was bailed in the mean time with conditions not to enter an exclusion zone around St James’ Park on match days.

Superintendent Rob Bosson, of Northumbria Police, said: “First and foremost, I would like to stress that this type of behaviour has absolutely no place in our communities – and we take reports of this nature very seriously.

“As soon as we were made aware of the video, an investigation was immediately launched, with officers working hard to identify a suspect who has since been arrested and charged.”

A Newcastle United spokesperson said: “Tragedy-related chanting and gesturing is completely unacceptable and Newcastle United is committed to working with authorities and the wider football community to eradicate it.”

Eight Manchester United players died in the Munich air disaster in February 1958.

Anyone with further information is asked to report it to police using the Tell Us Something page of the force’s website or by calling 101.

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