Belfast Telegraph

Leinster's anger at 'sectarian' abuse of Ulster fans in Dublin

Ulster fans at the match against Leinster in Dublin
Ulster fans at the match against Leinster in Dublin

By Ger Keville

Leinster have condemned a "sectarian incident" that saw a fan removed from the Aviva Stadium during yesterday's Champions Cup quarter-final win over Ulster.

Leinster secured a place in the last four with a dramatic 21-18 victory in a rip-roaring contest in front of more than 50,000 fans at the Dublin 4 stadium.

However, one fan was removed from the ground after allegedly shouting sectarian abuse.

It's understood that the fan was shouting abuse at Ulster Rugby supporters when he was reported by a Leinster fan to stewards.

The man was removed from the stadium by stewards and gardai.

Leinster issued a statement after the game on Twitter.

"Leinster Rugby is aware of an isolated incident during yesterday's game which was dealt with at the time by stewards and by gardai," it said.

"There is no place in sport or in our society for any form of physical or verbal abuse.

"Thank you to the vast majority of the 51,700 who sang, roared, cheered and urged both teams on, in what was a hugely special day for Irish rugby."

A spokesperson for An Garda Siochana said there were no reports of the man being further arrested or charged.

One Leinster fan said a "fool spent the first 20 minutes of the 2nd half shouting sectarian abuse at a group of @UlsterRugby".

He said it led to him and his son leaving "with the filth that was coming out of his mouth. No one should ever be abused at a match".

He later added: "Leinster supporter reported him, stewards and guards eventually got involved and he was removed.

"No video. But fair play to the Leinster fans around who stuck up for the Ulster lads.

"Don't think the fella watched any of the match, he had his back to the pitch the entire second half.

"Leinster supporters around him weren't having it at all."

Earlier this year, former Munster player Simon Zebo was subjected to alleged racist abuse while playing for his French club Racing 92 against Ulster in Belfast.

The French Top 14 club condemned the behaviour of unnamed individuals in Kingspan Stadium and said that Zebo was targeted.

Racing said that racism has "no place in rugby".

"Racing, however, does not wish to stigmatise Ulster Rugby as a whole.

"The insults suffered by Simon Zebo are the actions of only one or two and have been condemned by many Ulster fans who have shown their support for Simon."

A spectator was later banned for life by Ulster over the incident.

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