Saturday 21 September 2019

'We call on FAs to investigate all incidents of anti-Irish discrimination' - PFAI back James McClean

James McClean and (inset) Neil Lennon
James McClean and (inset) Neil Lennon

Harry Clarke

The Players Football Association of Ireland and Show Racism the Red Card have released a joint statement asking the English and Scottish FAs to investigate "all incidents of anti-Irish discrimination".

The English FA yesterday announced an investigation into Ireland's McClean for his use of an offensive word on social media after the Stoke man was subjected to abuse from fans during last weekend's 0-0 draw with Middlesborough.

That abuse stemmed from McClean's decision not to wear the poppy, a stance he has consistently explained and taken through the years.

29-year-old McClean hit out at the FA's decision to investigate and slammed the "uneducated cavemen" who abused him for not wearing a poppy on his shirt.

After hearing reports yesterday which suggested the FA would look into the matter, McClean reacted angrily as he alleged that he, like Hibernian boss Neil Lennon - who was last week hit by a coin during the Edinburgh derby - is being treated differently because he is an Irish Catholic.

Today, the PFA backed McClean and called for action.

"The FA have announced that they have investigated and warned James McClean for use of language arising from a post he put up on Instagram in which he referred to supporters who were abusing him," read a statement signed by Garrett Mullan (Show Racism the Red Card), Stephen McGuinness (PFA Ireland), Ged Grebby and Paul Kearns (SRTRC UK).

Read more here:

"This statement is a joint call from Show Racism the Red Card Ireland, Show Racism the Red Card UK and the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland to both the Football Association in England and the Scottish Football Association to have a more robust approach to abuse faced by players like James McClean and managers such as Neil Lennon.

"Racism on the basis of colour, nationality, religion or ethnicity is not acceptable and all within the game have a responsibility to respond appropriately.

"James McClean has stood in solidarity with team mates who have experienced racism and spoken out. We stand in solidarity with James McClean, Neil Lennon and all those who experience racism.

"We call on both the Football Association in England and the Scottish Football Association to investigate all incidents of anti-Irish discrimination.

"We also call on both associations to invest funding in anti-racism education to help both supporters and young people understand the dangers and the impact of racism."

Online Editors

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