A FOREIGN language student, studying at Battle Abbey, has left the school after admitting throwing a banana onto a football pitch, sparking an international racism row.
Police investigated the incident, which took place during the international friendly between Brazil and Scotland on Sunday, but no charges were brought against the 16-year-old German student as police were satisfied the incident was not racially motivated.
Originally it was feared the banana was meant as a jibe directed towards 19-year-old footballer Neymar, over the colour of his skin.
Speaking after the match, which was played at Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium in London, the Brazil soccer star had accused some spectators of racially abusing him.
But a spokesperson for Battle Abbey stressed that the student, who was only at the school on a temporary basis to improve his English, was not involved in any racist abuse and did not understand the implications of his actions.
The Abbey, which boasts 16 different nationalities among its students, says any racial discrimination would not be tolerated.
The spokesperson said: “A 16-year-old temporary student at Battle Abbey School admitted to his teachers after the football match between Scotland and Brazil on Sunday, that he had thrown the banana onto the pitch towards the end of the game.
“He came to the school in January for one term in order to improve his English and he has now left the school and returned home to Germany.
“He behaved immaculately at school for the ten weeks of his stay and has stated that his actions were not racially motivated and that he did not understand the implications of what he did.
“Nonetheless, he regrets deeply throwing the banana and is extremely apologetic for the damage that his actions caused.
“Battle Abbey School has 16 different nationalities among its students and has a robust equal opportunities policy in place and racial discrimination is not tolerated.
“The headmaster of Battle Abbey School reported the incident immediately to the police.
“The Metropolitan Police in charge of the match have confirmed that they intend to take no action since this was clearly not a racially motivated event and the Scottish and Brazilian FA have been informed.”