Thursday 19 September 2019

Leinster condemn 'sectarian incident' as fan is thrown out

Simon Zebo: Suffered racist abuse with Racing 92 in Belfast. Picture: Sportsfile
Simon Zebo: Suffered racist abuse with Racing 92 in Belfast. Picture: Sportsfile
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

Leinster have condemned a "sectarian incident" that saw a fan removed from the Aviva Stadium during yesterday's Champions Cup quarter-final.

Leinster secured a place in the last four with a dramatic 21-18 victory over Ulster in a rip-roaring contest in front of more than 50,000 fans.

However, one fan was removed from the ground after allegedly shouting sectarian abuse.

It's understood that the fan was shouting abuse at Ulster Rugby supporters when he was reported by a Leinster fan to stewards. The man was removed from the stadium by stewards and gardaí.

Leinster issued a statement after the game on Twitter.

"Leinster Rugby are aware of an isolated incident during yesterday's game which was dealt with at the time by stewards and by gardaí," it said.

"There is no place in sport or in our society for any form of physical or verbal abuse.

"Thank you to the vast majority of the 51,700 who sang, roared, cheered and urged both teams on in a hugely special day for Irish rugby."

A spokesperson for An Garda Síochána told the Irish Independent that there were no reports of the man being further arrested or charged.

Earlier this year, former Munster player Simon Zebo was subjected to alleged racist abuse while playing for his French club Racing 92 against Ulster in Belfast.

The French Top 14 club condemned the behaviour of unnamed individuals in Kingspan Stadium and said that Zebo was targeted.

Racing said that racism has "no place in rugby".

"Racing, however, does not wish to stigmatise Ulster Rugby as a whole. The insults suffered by Simon Zebo are the actions of only one or two individuals and have been condemned by many Ulster fans who have shown their support for Simon." A spectator was later banned for life by Ulster over the incident.

Irish Independent

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