A TEENAGE football fan has appeared in court accused of hurling racist abuse at Albion defender Gaetan Bong.

Burnley fan Nathan Higgins, 18, appeared in court charged with racially aggravated harassment during Burnley’s game against Brighton and Hove Albion on February 9.

Student Higgins is also accused of using threatening and abusive language and behaviour during the match.

Higgins’ father Stewart, 53, appeared alongside him in Brighton Magistrates’ Court also accused of using threatening and abusive language likely to cause distress.

They both deny all the charges and were released on bail.

The father and son travelled from their home in Talbot Drive, Burnley, Lancashire to be tried for the offences - only to be told the case will be delayed another three months.

Magistrates adjourned the case so fellow Burnley fans could be called as witnesses.

Following the alleged incident Sussex Police said: “Club stewards responded to reports of racist abuse received by away supporters in the away end during the game. Two individuals were identified and ejected from the stadium, and arrested by Sussex Police officers.

The CPS brought the charge after Sussex police arrested two men during Burnley’s 3-1 victory at Brighton in the Premier League.

Burnley said in a statement: “We welcome the actions taken by some of our own supporters in reporting such matters, which reflect the club’s own policy in dealing with alleged racist behaviour.

“As a club, Burnley FC will not accept any form of abusive or discriminatory behaviour and will actively pursue a zero-tolerance policy at all matches. We also support action taken by the relevant authorities to combat such behaviour and identify and punish any offenders and continue to work closely with all agencies and other clubs to tackle anti-social and discriminatory behaviour.”

Kick It Out said: “We applaud the swift, zero-tolerance approach taken by the club stewards and Sussex police in dealing with the alleged abuse. It’s an example for others to follow.”