Saturday 24 February 2018

'Only racism or sexual harassment is lower' - Munster fans slammed for booing Ian Keatley

Ian Keatley had a bad day at the office for Munster on Saturday
Ian Keatley had a bad day at the office for Munster on Saturday
Cormac Byrne

Cormac Byrne

The Thomond Park roar and how they observe silence for place-kickers for visiting teams is legendary but a certain section of Munster fans didn't do themselves proud on Saturday night.

Flyhalf Ian Keatley endured a very tough night during the 31-19 defeat to the Leicester Tigers.

With kicks at goal going astray and other aspects of his game falling short of his own standards, Keatley continually buried himself into rucks and was rarely available as a first receiver.

Seven minutes from time, Keatley was substituted and had to endure ironic cheers from the Munster faithful as he made his way from the field.

Anthony Foley voiced his disappointment at the action of the 'very knowledgeable' crowd in Limerick.

Speaking on Off The Ball on Newstalk tonight, former Munster star Trevor Hogan described the actions of some of the home fans as 'disgraceful'.

"It's terrible. I had to rewind it to see if I was seeing things," he said.

"There was a couple of people sniggering there, laughter. It's absolutely unjustifiable.

"If you are a supporter, that is a line you do not cross. It's the lowest of the low.

"The only thing that is lower is racism or sexual harassment. That is pathetic.

"Munster fans are the most passionate and knowledgeable around and that'd why it's even more disappointing.

"It's the opposite of support.

"You look at the faces on the players who are already off the pitch and they can hear it.

"You talk about the unity of the fans and the players... it's got to be rigid, it's got to be unbreakable no matter what happens on the field.

"To kick him when he's down.... the fans that did it have to look at themselves hard. Are you a real Munster person? because what you did there was worse than anything that has happened in Thomond Park ever.

"It was just disgraceful."

Former Ireland head coach Eddie O'Sullivan was quick to point out that not all Munster supporters should be criticised for the actions of some.

"It was very disappointing to hear. I don't know Ian Keatley very well but what I do know is that he is a good, honest guy," he said.

"You can't tar all the Munster supporters with that brush, there was obviously an element of supporters there the other night that booed him and that is very wrong."

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