After yet another heavy derby defeat for Newcastle at St. James's park, bitterness appeared to get the better of the them to the extent where their local paper had to falsely accuse Sunderland supporters of performing fascist salutes.
The Newcastle Chronicle's live blog made a startling claim - That fans doing the delightful "Fabio Borini" celebration were actually performing Nazi salutes. It read:
Our first video now after a bust period of editing, with more to follow - this one shows so-called "fans" being escorted to Central Station doing Nazi salutes...
Now, not wanting to sound cynical here, but that comment was posted after 4:30pm. It's pretty low to suggest such a thing, in my opinion. Then, today, The Newcastle Chronicle issued this apology...
We published a video on our live coverage of Newcastle United's derby defeat to Sunderland on Saturday, February 1 which we stated showed Sunderland fans "doing Nazi salutes". This was a mistake. The video actually showed fans replicating the goal celebration carried out by Sunderland AFC footballer Fabio Borini and not any other sort of salute. We apologise for this error and regret any distress it has caused.
That's all very well and good. But five days after the event? In my opinion, you'd have to be a complete simpleton in order to confuse these two things. As a local paper, I'm sure they've seen Borini banging the goals in recently. Haven't they noticed his "Nazi" salute previously? Apparently not.
It's bad form and just compounds the recent bitterness that is seemingly being levelled from that direction. When lots of fan groups, from both sides, put a concerted effort in pre match to make the derby a positive experience off the pitch, things like this really don't help things.
Credit for the apology, but the original statement was and remains unforgivable.