Police have launched an investigation after complaints that Blackburn Rovers’ Colin Kazim-Richards was involved in a homophobic incident during an away match against Brighton and Hove Albion.

The Argus newspaper reports Kazim-Richards was seen to be making homophobic insults on Tuesday evening towards fans on “at least five” occasions during the 1-1 draw at Brighton’s Amex Stadium.

Sussex Police football liaison officer PC Darren Balkham said he had received “numerous complaints” about the alleged abuse.

He said: “We will be investigating this fully and will be taking statements and looking through camera footage.

“Whether you are on the pitch or in the stands, Sussex Police takes any allegations of homophobic language or gestures seriously.”

26-year-old Kazim-Richards previously played for Brighton and Hove Albion until 2006 before moving to Sheffield United.

Officers investigating the complaints against Kazim-Richards have contacted Lancashire Police, Brighton and Hove Albion and Blackburn FC for assistance.

A spokesman for the Football Association confirmed a number of complaints had been received and said they would be working with police to investigate the incident.

Albion fans are often subjected to homophobic chants by opposition fans due to Brighton and Hove’s reputation for its large LGBT community.