MailOnline discovered cocaine use in the derby of Tottenham, Arsenal, Man United and Man City
A shocking MailOnline investigation found that 80 per cent of toilets in the Premier League derby last weekend tested positive for cocaine.
Our investigation has found that top flight football thugs are fueling an alarming surge in violence at Premier League stadiums.
In Sunday’s infamous North London derby, as a reckless Tottenham fan tried to kick Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale, we scanned 10 toilets at Tottenham Hotspur’s stadium to find eight signs that the substance was illegal.
MailOnline reporter Vivek Choudhury has found widespread evidence of cocaine use in the toilets at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, at the match between Tottenham and Arsenal on Sunday.
Our team used lab-approved swabs (pictured above) that instantly turned blue to indicate the presence of cocaine in the stadium toilets.
Our investigation revealed drug use within the Tottenham Hotspur stadium at the same time the match was marred when a Tottenham fan struck a ball at Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
The MailOnline’s findings come as a record number of bans have been imposed preventing fans from going to stadiums as a result of drug use and disorder.
Of the findings, Paul Lewis, president of the Football Safety Officers Association (FSA), said: ‘I am not at all shocked by what MailOnline has revealed. For those of us who work in the game, cocaine use in football is all too common.
Lewis, a former police officer, added: “It happens everywhere, from Premier League matches to non-league matches.
We found evidence of cocaine snorting in toilets at two of the Premier League’s biggest stadiums
We regularly receive reports from our members of white powder being discovered in toilets, the floor of stands and even outside stadiums. The amount of drugs the fans take is massive in some matches.”
At full-time whistles in the North London and Manchester derby at the weekend, MailOnline scanned the toilets at Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester United’s Old Trafford grounds to find widespread traces of the first-class drug on the surfaces.
Tottenham have tried to stop fans sniffing drugs in the toilets by removing the lids from the cisterns.
But that didn’t stop one fan from running out of the booth rubbing his nose after making a grunting noise behind the closed door.
In the family building, where young children roam accompanied by their parents, our reporter went inside to see a white powder still clearly visible on the toilet paper holder.
A quick sweep along the surface, and the lab-approved swab instantly turned blue, indicating traces of the deadly drug.
In some cases, cocaine was visible on the top of toilet cistern and on toilet paper holders
It was the same situation at Old Trafford where tests showed that a small shelf above the toilet was used to hold rows of cocaine.
The alarming discovery of cocaine use in Premier League matches comes as new police figures show that football ban orders issued in connection with matches in England and Wales have increased significantly in the first half of the current season compared to the same period last season.
Data released by the UK’s Football Police unit last week revealed that there were 343 banning orders issued between 1 July 2022 and 31 December 2022, an increase of 230 per cent compared to the same period in the 2021-22 campaign.
Incidents involving drug use by supporters increased by 42 percent. From November 10 last year, anyone found guilty of possessing or supplying Class A drugs in an organized game could be subject to a banning order.
A Tottenham fan was filmed appearing to snort a bunch of drugs on the pitch when they played their final game at White Hart Lane in 2017.
There was a massive police operation to keep Tottenham and Arsenal fans away from each other on Sunday
It comes amid a massive upsurge in football-related violence at all levels, fueled by drug abuse
The UK’s top football official, Chief Constable Mark Roberts, has warned that more fans than ever are taking drugs at matches, creating a ‘toxic mix’ of violence.
“As we see more violent incidents, cocaine is one of those factors along with alcohol that will make it worse, make people more violent,” he said.
One fan also said that cocaine in football is so prevalent that fans snort it in their seats.
Lewis, a retired police officer now responsible for ground safety at Nottingham Forest, added: “Cocaine causes fans to behave in a more violent manner and there is no doubt that it is a contributing factor to more problems at games.
There was a large police presence at the Everton v Southampton match amidst crowd protests
Drugs are consumed in all parts of stadiums, not just where known hooligans congregate. Drugs are prevalent in society and this has extended to football.
It has been going on for over ten years but it is only now getting media attention.
The FSOA called on clubs to take more action to prevent cocaine use inside stadiums.
This includes increasing the use of sniffer dogs, removing flat surfaces from inside toilet cubicles, and spraying surfaces with a special chemical to prevent their use in cocaine consumption.
Mr Lewis added: “We welcome tougher legislation which could lead to bans being issued for those who use or sell drugs inside stadiums, but clubs need to develop more effective strategies to combat this problem.
There was a shocking moment when a Tottenham fan kicked Arsenal goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale in the back after Arsenal won 2-0.
The incident saw the fan leap from the stands into an advertising pile and kick Ramsdale in the back as he collected his water bottle.
Richarlison is seen hitting Ramsdale in the face causing tensions to fester
It is impossible to accurately research every fan who enters the stadium. But you can design areas in a certain way that makes it difficult for them to use drugs. And sniffer dogs are also a great deterrent.
In a statement, Tottenham Hotspur said: “The club takes a tough approach to drugs at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, and the rise in drug use is a worrying issue in the wider community.
The club works closely with the Metropolitan Police on all drug related matters and bans anyone found with illegal substances within the stadium.
A statement from Manchester United said: ‘Manchester United have a zero-tolerance approach to illegal drug use and will continue to crack down on those who seek to bring or use any illegal substances into our stadium.
The use of illegal substances in stadiums is a collective issue in our sport, as well as in wider society, and we are committed to working with the relevant authorities to eradicate it from football to ensure Old Trafford remains an inclusive and safe place for all. Our fans to come and support the team.”