FAI refer ‘vile and horrific racist abuse’ against Ireland U-15 side to Gardaí

FAI chief executive Jonathan Hill (left) with president Gerry McAnaney, who have both condemnd the racist abuse of players. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile.

Eoghan Moloney

The FAI have referred alleged instances of “vile and horrific racist abuse” aimed at Ireland’s U-15 team to Gardaí.

It’s understood the racist comments were made on social media in the wake of Ireland’s victory over Latvia this week.

The FAI said it takes “the protection of all Irish players seriously”.

“We abhor such ignorant and unacceptable online abuse of any player and we are working with the Gardai, the social media companies, the families of the players and their clubs to ensure that this matter is dealt with in the appropriate manner.

“We have spoken with the players and their families tonight and offered them our full support,” the FAI said.

Chief Executive Jonathan Hill said to see young players being the target of racism is “particularly sickening”.

“There is no place for racism in football. To see such young players targeted in this manner is particularly sickening and the FAI will do everything in our power to ensure the perpetrators are identified and held responsible for their disgraceful actions,” Mr Hill said.

FAI President Gerry McAnaney said that “we cannot tolerate such behaviour in society and sport”.

“I was proud to see these players represent Ireland in their Under 15 international against Latvia in Whitehall on Tuesday and proud of the delight they took in representing their country. I can assure their families that as an Association we fully support all our players. We cannot tolerate such behaviour in society and sport.”

The FAI said it will be making no further comment while this matter is under investigation.