Thursday 27 June 2019

Ulster issue written apology to Simon Zebo as supporter is banned for life over verbal abuse

Simon Zebo. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Simon Zebo. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Ulster have handed a fan who verbally abused Simon Zebo at Kingspan Stadium a lifetime ban from attending games at the ground.

Zebo returned to Ireland earlier this month with Racing 92 to face the northern province in the Champions Cup, a game that Ulster won 23-22.

However, the thrilling contest was marred by the post-match allegations that Zebo was racially abused by a member of the crowd.

Ulster and the EPCR launched an investigation into the incident, receiving evidence from Zebo, and a fan has now been handed a lifetime ban as a result.

Ulster have sent a written apology to Zebo and Racing 92 and have also released a statement addressing the incident:

"Following a robust investigation into allegations of abuse directed at Simon Zebo during the fixture versus Racing 92 on Saturday 12th January, Ulster Rugby has sanctioned a life-time ban on a spectator, for breaching our stadium regulations.

"We would like to thank the many supporters who provided information to assist our investigation.

"We are all very proud of our reputation as an inclusive club and the unacceptable behaviour of this one individual is not reflective of our supporters, or the values of our club.

"We have issued a written apology to Simon Zebo and Racing 92."

Simon Zebo responded to the news on social media, tweeting: 'Thank you, Ulster Rugby'.

Zebo's club, Racing 92, had previously condemned the 'racial insults' that the 28-year-old had been subjected to.

"Racing 92 strongly condemns the racist insults that Simon Zebo was targeted with on Saturday during the European Cup game between this club and Ulster Rugby at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast," the club said.

"Racism has no place in rugby, in which the values of solidarity and togetherness are the exact opposite of any forms of discrimination.

"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."

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