Belfast Telegraph

Racism accused denies abusing Derry player Zayed

By Robert Jones

Shamrock Rovers have insisted the player involved in an alleged racism row has denied the charge of making comments towards a Derry City opponent.

The FAI has confirmed that it will investigate claims by Derry City's Libyan international, Eamon Zayed, that he was subjected to racist abuse during recent games.

Derry boss Stephen Kenny stated after Monday's league game away to Shamrock Rovers that Zayed had been racially abused during the game and that there had also been “incidents” during last Friday's game against St Pats at Richmond Park.

“The Airtricity League has been made aware of allegations of racist abuse being directed towards a league player in recent days,” said the FAI in a statement.

“The referee's report from the match in question has been received and the match delegate's report has also addressed the issue.

“The FAI Disciplinary Control Unit will be making an investigation into the allegations and will be requesting a response from the club in question regarding this issue.”

Zayed's trade union — the PFAI — also confirmed that it had been contacted by the player.

“The PFAI has been approached by Derry City player Eamon Zayed in relation to an allegation of racial abuse by an opposition player during Monday night's fixture with Shamrock Rovers,” the PFAI said. “The Association has not yet been contacted by the player alleged to have made the comment.

“The PFAI condemns all forms of racist abuse and is an active participant in the Show Racism the Red Card campaign.

“However, it is important that due process be followed and the player accused of making the comment be given the opportunity to answer the allegations.

“In the circumstances, the PFAI urges caution until the full facts emerge and the FAI investigation is complete.”

But Rovers say their player is innocent: “Shamrock Rovers became aware of a complaint made by a Derry City player against one of our players after Monday’s game.

“The club has spoken to the player in question and he completely refutes the accusation that has been made against him.

“The club will of course co-operate with the FAI investigation in a bid to clear the name of the player involved and the club.”

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