Spurs fan found guilty of throwing Banana skin at Aubameyang
Tottenham spurs fan has found guilty of throwing Banana skin at Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a “targeted gesture” which had a “racial element”, a court has heard.
Averof Panteli, 57, admitted hurling the item onto the turf at the Emirates stadium after Arsenal’s Gabon striker Aubameyang scored against his side and celebrated in front of Spurs’ travelling support earlier this month.
He said he threw the skin in a “spur of the moment” action but denied there was any racist intent, Highbury Corner Magistrates’ Court heard on Tuesday.
But Magistrate Mervyn Mandell said: “We find it was a targeted gesture to throw a banana skin after a goal was scored by a black player.
“We have in the circumstances found the racial element was there.”
After found guilt, the Court he gets 4-year ban and fined £500, which includes a £100 uplift for the racial element, and told to pay £135 in costs.
After judgement Panteli, citizen of Norwich said, “I am not racist whatsoever. I am actually a Greek Cypriot. I am 100% not a racist. I swear on my kids’ lives that I am not that kind of guy.
“I apologise if I have offended anyone from both clubs, especially Tottenham. It was a mad thing I did and I never meant to offend anyone in any way.
“I have been charged with throwing an object. I am not charged with anything racist. The police were happy to accept it was not racist. I have made a big mistake and I am sincerely sorry for it.
“Without thinking, I picked up this banana skin and threw it on the edge of the pitch. I didn’t throw it at the players. It was just on the edge of the pitch.
“It is totally out of character. I didn’t think of the racist connotations.”