A football fan has been convicted of a hate crime for throwing a banana skin at a black football player during a match.

Spurs fan, Averof Panteli, claimed he had no racist intent when he threw the banana at striker Pierre-Emerick Aubamayeng, who had just scored for Arsenal against Tottenham on December 2.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) refused to accept the 57-year-old's plea to the offence of throwing a missile onto a football pitch and proved he acted out of racist intent.

He was convicted today at Highbury Corner Magistrates' Court and sentenced to a fine of £500, costs of £85 and a victim surcharge of £50 as well as a football banning order for four years – This stops him from attending any football match in England and Wales.

According to the CPS, crimes that are motivated wholly or partly by hostility or demonstrate hostility towards the victim based on that person’s presumed race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability are eligible for an increased sentence.

The CPS had applied for the sentence for throwing a missile on a pitch to be uplifted to properly reflect the full impact of the crime and the court stated that his fine would have been £300 if not for the hate crime element.

Panteli has now also been banned for life by the club.

In a statement Tottenham Hotspurs FC said:"There were incidents in our most recent Premier League fixture against Arsenal earlier this month where a small number of supporters of both sides behaved unacceptably.

"Ahead of Wednesday’s Carabao Cup quarter-final tie we wish to remind supporters travelling to Emirates Stadium that any kind of racist, discriminatory or anti-social behaviour will not be tolerated by the Club.

"As a club that has suffered from abuse in the past from opposition supporters, we wish to make clear that there is absolutely no place for this kind of behaviour in or outside of football.

"The Club does not tolerate discrimination of any sort, on the pitch or in the stands, and both the police and ourselves shall take action against anyone behaving or using language that is abusive, offensive or obscene."

Meer Teny, of the CPS, said: "Our prosecution was able to disprove Averof Panteli's claim that throwing a banana skin at a black football player was not a racist act.

"The magistrates accepted, given the nature of the object thrown, that this clearly demonstrated hostility based on the player's race.

"This has led to a tougher sentence which I hope provides confidence to victims of hate crimes to come forward."