Teenager arrested after Dublin native Peter Kioso is racially abused amid Luton Town's great escape celebrations

Mon, Jul 27 2020

Kioso signed for Championship Luton Town from Hartlepool United in January of this year. Credit: Luton Town FC

A 15-year-old from Hartlepool in England has been arrested after Luton Town defender Peter Kioso reported he was racially abused on Instagram last week.

The Irish- Congolese full-back was celebrating his club’s dramatic final-day escape from relegation from the Championship when the racist message was posted in response to his social media post.

It comes in the same month that a 12-year-old was arrested for racially abusing Crystal Palace winger Wilfred Zaha online, while Ireland and Sheffield United striker David McGoldrick was also subjected to racist abuse.

Kioso delayed going public with the vile abuse in order to not overshadow the club’s outstanding achievement in their first season back in the second tier.

“In 2020 seriously come on, a fan that used to sing my name wants to be doing this,” Kioso wrote on Twitter.

“This happened on Wednesday night after the boys and I were celebrating such a big thing that we did and I was not going to let that ruin the moment.

“But now that everything has calmed down, I feel like I [should] shed light on it to let everyone know how things still are in 2020.”

The Dublin-born defender, who played youth football for Malahide United before moving to the UK, had made his debut in the Hatters’ penultimate game.

He made his full debut, having waited patiently since signing from Hartlepool United in January, in the final game of the season as Luton edged out Blackburn Rovers 3-2 to secure safety.

21-year-old Kioso began his pro career in the youth system with MK Dons and worked his way up through non-league football with Dunstable Town and Hartlepool before joining Luton this year.

A statement from Cleveland police read: “On Friday 24 July 2020, a 15-year-old male from the Hartlepool area was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence in connection with comments made to a Luton Town Football Club player on a social media platform.

“The comments are believed to have been made on a live Instagram feed on the evening of Wednesday 22 July. The male has been released under investigation whilst enquiries continue.”