Sport Soccer

Friday 21 July 2017

Premier League players at centre of 'racial abuse orgy' offer apologies for behaviour

Kate Ferguson

Premier League club Leicester has said that it is "deeply concerned" and has launched an internal investigation amid reports that three of its players were filmed in an orgy with a Thai woman who was racially abused.

Three players were allegedly filmed Thai women engaged in explicit sex acts in a hotel room, where one of the stars appears to call a woman "slit eye" in a race slur.

Adam Smith, James Pearson and Tom Hopper were involved in an alleged 'orgy'
Adam Smith, James Pearson and Tom Hopper were involved in an alleged 'orgy'

The video, obtained by the Sunday Mirror, allegedly shows defender James Pearson, 22, the son of the club's manager Nigel, naked in a hotel room.

It is alleged he is joined by striker Tom Hopper, 21, and goalkeeper Adam Smith, 22, who appear to be shown lying naked in a bed laughing as the video is filmed.

In a statement released this evening the club has confirmed that the three players in question have been sent home from the end-of-season tour.

"The Board of Leicester City Football Club is deeply concerned about an incident involving three of our young professionals during a recent trip to Thailand," the statement read.

Three of Nigel Pearson's players were involved in alleged 'orgy'
Three of Nigel Pearson's players were involved in alleged 'orgy'

"Our players at every level are expected to behave as representatives and ambassadors for our Football Club, both on official Club duty and in their personal lives, so we treat their conduct extremely seriously.

“Following a preliminary meeting in consultation with the three players earlier today, the players involved in the incident are now returning to the UK, in advance of the rest of the squad.

"Tom Hopper, James Pearson and Adam Smith would like to convey their sincere apologies for their behaviour – to the women involved in the incident, to the Club and its owners, to the Club’s fans and to their families.

“A formal process of investigation will be undertaken with the players in conjunction with their representatives and, as such, no further comment can be made at this stage.

“Leicester City remains wholly committed to promoting equality in football and in wider society and to our players recognising their responsibilities as role models to young people.”

In the video one of the players also appears to call one of the women "minging - an absolute one out of ten" as his friends laugh.

Other offensive comments are made to the women as the players appear to laugh and egg each other on.

It is alleged the trio shared the explicit video with friends back in the UK.

Today, fans told of their disgust on the fans forum FoxesTalk, where one posted: "Get rid of them, never getting near our squad anyway."

Another wrote: "Disgusting and inexcusable behaviour, exactly the sort of stuff that gives British tourists a bad name when we go abroad.

"It's especially disappointing given the efforts the owners are going to to ensure we're a popular club in Thailand."

All three players alleged to have been involved have taken down their Twitter profiles. But the club declined to comment on whether this was linked to the scandal.

The club's manager, Nigel Pearson, has campaigned against racism and is a patron of the charity Show Racism the Red Card.

And the scandal is likely to anger Leicester City's Thai billionaire owners, father and son Vichai and Aiyawatt Srivaddhanaprabha, who have pumped millions into the club and worked hard to establish it a large fanbase in Thailand.

Leicester City has been in "strategic, international partnership" with the Tourism Authority of Thailand for three years.

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