Fulham have vowed to take the “strongest possible action” after Aboubakar Kamara was racially abused on social media following his penalty miss on Saturday.
The forward was criticised for refusing to allow the club’s designated penalty-taker Aleksandar Mitrovic to take a spot-kick during Saturday’s 1-0 victory over Huddersfield while the game was still goalless, and then missing it.
Mitrovic scored in stoppage time to secure a crucial victory but Kamara was later abused on social media and Fulham have promised to act.
“We are aware that numerous damaging and hurtful comments have been posted on Aboubakar Kamara’s social media account, and as a club that prides itself on our respect and civility, we condemn anyone who may be associated with this repulsive activity,” a club spokesman said in a statement.
“This is not representative in the least of genuine Fulham supporters, many of whom have posted messages of support and encouragement to the player.
“The club will provide all necessary support to Aboubakar and will take the strongest possible action against those identified and responsible for these posts.”
Speaking post-match, Fulham manager Claudio Ranieri accused Kamara of disrespecting the club, his team-mates and their supporters through “thinking of himself”.
Mitrovic instead insisted he understood why Kamara had acted as he did, saying: “He’s a striker, he’s hungry for goals as well, maybe he wanted to score as well and he scored his last penalty.
“It’s normal. He’s young, these kind of things can happen. It’s normal.
“You need to take care of each other.”
Ranieri also believes their hopes of survival would be strengthened if a winter break was introduced to the English football calendar.
The experienced Italian is managing his third club in English football, following Leicester and Chelsea, and while familiar with the intense run of festive fixtures he is wary of how they will gradually affect his players.
On Saturday they Fulham lost defender Alfie Mawson to a knee injury Ranieri fears could prove to be serious and on January 1 they visit Arsenal, where they will hope to build a sense of momentum.
The boss said: “It’s important that the players get a rest. The pitch needs a rest, and the teams that play in the Champions League need a rest.
“In March, April you would feel better if you had two weeks’ rest. It would be good for English football to have some teams who fight for the final of the Champions League.
“(But) this isn’t frustrating – I accept it. I know the tradition here is good. It’s fantastic.”
If 19th-placed Fulham were celebrating victory while Arsenal were losing 5-1 at Premier League leaders Liverpool, their manager Unai Emery is still widely considered to have made a promising start to his career in north London.
Like Ranieri, Emery once managed Valencia, and the former Nantes head coach said: “Unai Emery is working well and it will be another tough match for us.
“I’ve come across him before. Maybe I played against him when he was at Paris St Germain. He’s an intelligent and experienced coach.
“He was also in France. When you move countries, you open the mind. Also the Premier League is in my opinion the best league in the world.
“Arsenal are one of the best teams and is working to achieve a place in the Champions League.
“There are so many managers and big champions. When there are more big champions, you have to think more.”