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Derry say Zayed subject of abuse twice in four days

THE LEAGUE of Ireland has been hit with a new race row after Derry City claimed that their Dublin-born Libyan international Eamon Zayed was racially abused at games in Dublin – twice in the space of four days.

Dubliner Zayed, who played at underage level for Ireland alongside players like Kevin Doyle but is now a senior international with Libya, scored his 12th goal of the season to give Derry a 1-1 draw away to Shamrock Rovers last night.

But after the game in Tallaght, the player made a formal complaint to match officials about racial abuse which he received.

Derry have also complained about abuse which Zayed received from a section of the crowd in Inchicore at the St Pats-Derry City game last Friday and the Ulster club were due to meet with the PFAI (players' union) today about Friday's episode at St Pats.

“A lot of stuff went on and there has been an official complaint made,” Derry manager Stephen Kenny said after the game.

“Eamon spoke to the match observer after but he was quite upset and didn't want to speak (to the media) himself.”

“There was personal abuse,” continued Kenny. “I didn’t hear it myself and we will have to wait and see. There were incidents on Friday (in Inchicore) but we have to get the full details before we do more. We will have a chat as a club and see what our best policy is.”

Club captain Kevin Deery told the Evening Herald: “It’s a shambles if it is still happening in this day and age.

“I was aware of something happening last Friday and I heard that a comment was made last night, if that’s the case then it’s shocking and there needs to be a massive crackdown on it by the clubs. We all feel let down and hurt for Eamon’s sake.”

Rovers were today awaiting formal notice of any complaint but they vowed to deal seriously with the matter.

“If a complaint is made we will take it very seriously, like all League of Ireland clubs we have signed up to the league’s tenpoint plan on anti-racism, and any form of racism will not be tolerated,” said a club spokesman today.

History was made in 2009 when the then Bohemians player Jason McGuinness was disciplined by his club and banned for five games by the FAI when he admitted using a racially abusive term towards an opponent from Sligo Rovers during a game.

Zayed was born in Dublin, played schoolboy football for the famous St Joseph’s Boys nursery club and was capped 11 times at youth and U21 levels by Ireland - alongside current stars like Kevin Doyle, Keith Fahey, Glenn Whelan and Stephen Kelly - before he declared for Libya last year through the parentage rule.