Belfast Telegraph

Co Tyrone football club vows to take players off pitch over sectarian abuse

Mountfield FC, who play in the Fermanagh and Western League, said Catholic players on the team had endured sustained abuse from fans of some opposing teams last season (stock photo)
Mountfield FC, who play in the Fermanagh and Western League, said Catholic players on the team had endured sustained abuse from fans of some opposing teams last season (stock photo)
Donna Deeney

By Donna Deeney

A Co Tyrone football club will take their players off the field if sectarian abuse against some of them continues.

Mountfield FC, who play in the Fermanagh and Western League, said Catholic players on the team had endured sustained abuse from fans of some opposing teams last season.

A further incident occurred at the weekend when one of Mountfield's players alleged a fan of their opponents, Mountjoy, made a sectarian comment.

A Mountfield spokesman said: "There has been an ongoing problem since last season where some of our players have been subjected to sectarian abuse."

He added: "Last season ended without resolution but we hoped this new season would mark a new beginning where things would resolve themselves naturally, but that didn't happen.

"Four games into the new season and the sectarian abuse has started.

"I know this isn't coming from the actual teams we play against, but it is coming from a small minority of their fans.

"Mountjoy FC are a club we have massive respect for, the game at the weekend was played in great spirit on the field as all our previous games have been against them.

"We know that they are a well established organisation and commend them for investigating this matter.

"However, no matter where it comes from, sectarianism is not acceptable and if it continues against our players we will take them off the pitch."

The latest allegation will be the subject of a special meeting with the Fermanagh and Western Football Association arranged for later this month.

Neil Jardine, the association's secretary, said they will meet with officials from both Mountfield and Mountjoy.

He said: "A referee's report was received following last Saturday's match in which there was an allegation of sectarian comments made.

"A disciplinary meeting has been set up for October 14 and the two teams as well as the referee have been instructed to attend and it will be dealt with then according to the Association's disciplinary code."

A spokesman for Mountjoy FC told the Ulster Herald: "The club wholeheartedly agrees that any such behaviour is despicable and has no part in our game and will give our full co-operation alongside Fermanagh and Western Association.

"In the future, any club member or player who is found to have conducted themselves in such a manner will be disciplined accordingly by the club."

The club stated such matters should be reported to the PSNI.

The Fermanagh and Western League - one of four regional FAs within Northern Ireland - said Mountfield made similar allegations last season, although they had not been officially reported to the league.

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