News that an under 12s game was abandoned after adult ‘supporters’ allegedly hurled racist abuse at players who happened to be from traveller backgrounds, is shocking.
The match between Wicklow teams Rathnew and Aughrim Rangers was abandoned after just 20 minutes amid allegations that two young boys were labelled “knackers” and “tinkers” by adult supporters at the game.
There were heated scenes in Allen Park, Aughrim on Sunday, prompting the referee to abandon the under-12s match just 20 minutes into the first half.
Speaking to the Herald last night, Rathnew chairman John Snell said the players and parents are “angry” and “hurt”.
“In all my years involved in sport, I have never come across anything like this,” Mr Snell said. He intends to write to the FAI, adding that parents of those affected are considering making a complaint to gardai.
Mr Snell said his club welcomes children from “all backgrounds” and that the events last Sunday have caused deep distress within the community.
Peter Porter, chairman of the Wicklow and District Schoolboys/girls League (WDSL) – the organisation which organises the competition – said they were aware of the incident.
“It deserves due process and this incident is under investigation,” Mr Porter said. He declined to comment further.
The incident follows reports of an incident in Cavan GAA where an underage player was allegedly subject to racist abuse. Both incidents should serve as a wake up call for all in sport to take action and tackle racism.
Reports of incidents require investigation and measure put in place whereby it is clear that there can be no room for racism in sport.