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Saturday 16 December 2017

Kevin Kilbane subjected to online abuse after reporting West Ham fans to FA for mocking disabled

Former Republic of Ireland defender Kevin Kilbane
Former Republic of Ireland defender Kevin Kilbane
Declan Whooley

Declan Whooley

Former Republic of Ireland defender Kevin Kilbane has made an official complaint to the FA following offensive chanting by a large section of their supporters during the 2-2 draw with Tottenham.

The Hammers were denied a valuable three points when Harry Kane scored a penalty deep in injury time to rescue a draw for the home side, but there were reports of both anti-Semitic chanting directed by the away fans towards their Spurs counterparts, while also offensive chanting towards Kane.

The Match of the Day pundit contacted the FA after a close friend reported West Ham fans sang ‘Harry Kane talks like a mong and plays like one too’ during the draw.

The word ‘mong’ is used as a derogatory term for people with learning disabilities.

Kilbane, whose 10-year-old daughter Elsie has Down’s Syndrome, has been told the FA is launching an investigation into his complaint.

“I am sure they understand they are causing offence, “ he said. “You cannot sweep it under the carpet and label it as ignorance. It is visible and clear and like racist or homophobic chanting, it is intended to cause offence.

“I want to be able to take my kids to football matches and when Elsie gets older she will understand about her condition and I would not want her to hear that kind of chanting. If her sister Isla heard it, she would be devastated too, as my friend’s sons were.

“I spoke him and he was extremely upset and I felt I had to report it. No family should have to put up with it at football matches.

‘It was very clear and sadly it appeared to be from the majority of West Ham fans in the ground. This was not isolated to a handful of people.

 “I have spoken to the FA and they have assured me they will investigate it thoroughly,” he added.

Kilbane was soon subjected to vile abuse once the Kilbane’s decision was made public.

“Not being funny mate but this is just ridiculous! People like you killing the game mate,” one Twitter user, with other suggesting he was only acting in that manner for publicity.

Other comments were far more extreme.

“Why did you delete the tweet comparing it to racism? Cos you won't do shit about the Spurs fans that's why. Cu**,” said another member of the public.

Kilbane earned 110 caps for Ireland in an international career that spanned 14 years.

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