Wednesday 26 June 2019

Zebo says jibe from Ulster fans 'not on' but has yet to make formal complaint

Remarks: Simon Zebo in action for Racing 92 at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Saturday. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Remarks: Simon Zebo in action for Racing 92 at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Saturday. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Robin Schiller

Robin Schiller

Rugby star Simon Zebo says he was subjected to comments he described as "not on" during a match against Ulster on Saturday.

Zebo was playing for French club side Racing 92 when the alleged incident happened during the Champions Cup encounter at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.

In a tweet posted after the game, the winger said: "A tough place to play but great effort from the boys, 2 important points on the road.

"Also I hope my ears deceived me with some comments directed my way from the crowd. #Not on - Django wins in the end."

'Django Unchained' is a Quentin Tarantino film focusing on the story of an African-American slave.

The 28-year-old Cork man played up until half-time before being replaced due to an injured right leg, which was strapped up during the first half.

Ulster Rugby was contacted for a statement in which they said the matter will now be looked into.

The statement read: "Ulster Rugby condemns all forms of abuse and will work with the relevant parties to robustly investigate any complaints received."

The PSNI said no formal complaints had been received regarding the matter.

Organisers of the Champions Cup, a competition involving teams from across Europe, told RTÉ that no complaints had been made by Racing 92 but they would be in contact with both clubs.

"EPCR (European Professional Club Rugby) is in contact with both Ulster Rugby and Racing 92, and will be making no further comment at this point," it said in the statement.

Zebo has become a pantomime villain for Ulster fans after his contentious celebration during Racing's 44-12 victory over Ulster in Paris last October. He had pointed his finger at Ulster full-back Michael Lowry before crossing for Racing's fifth try of the game.

At the time, Zebo was told by referee Nigel Owens to apologise for the incident and he issued a detailed apology to Lowry after the game after giving the young player his shirt.

Former Ulster player Neil Best responded to Zebo's comments on social media following Saturday's game by tweeting: "Racism has no place in sport and no place in any other area of life. But vague hints/suggestions something may have been said does a great disservice to the many @ulsterrugby fans who were hostile not based on any player's race/ethnicity. Complaint/Investigation/Outcome/Process."

Ulster beat Racing 26-22 in Saturday's game, with both sides remaining in contention to qualify for the Champions Cup knockout stages.

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