Cyrus Christie condemns 'deeply saddening' racist abuse on social media

Mon, Nov 20 2017

Christie in action during Ireland's World Cup play-off defeat to Denmark Credit: Brian F Smyth

Republic of Ireland international Cyrus Christie says it is 'deeply saddening that racism is still part of the game' after he was racially abused following Ireland's World Cup play-off elimination.


The defender was reportedly left 'in tears' after the horrific comments on social media that purported to gather a lynch mob against him among other comments in the wake of the 5-1 loss to Denmark.


Christie scored an own goal late in the first half as Ireland fell to a heavy home defeat and was singled out for abuse by a minority of individuals on social media after the game.


“Firstly I'd like to say I'm proud to represent my Country [sic] the Republic of Ireland and I give everything I can each time I put on the green shirt,” Christie wrote on Twitter.


“I genuinely believe our fans are some of the best in the world.


“However, there have been a number of racist comments which have been brought to my attention during the World Cup qualifying campaign over the last couple of months and most recently last week.


“These comments are not representative of our fans or our sport. We are all deeply upset not to reach the World Cup finals and are hurting just as much as everyone else.


“It is deeply saddening that racism is still part of the game we all enjoy and love. I strongly believe we need to stand up against these individuals who do not belong in football or any other sport.”



The FAI have confirmed that the comments have been reported to the Gardaí.


Earlier today, the Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland and Show Racism the Red Card issued a joint statement condemning the 'vile incidents.'


"There is no place for racism in sport or on social media,” said SRtRC director Garrett Mullan.


“We welcome the fact that the FAI and Gardai are taking action but social media outlets also have a role to play in responding to racism.


"As important as reporting such vile incidents is the support that someone receives from those around and in this case, it is clear that Cyrus Christie's team-mates have been affected by this incident.


"We welcome the fact that James McClean has shone a light on to some of the nasty elements out there.


“His support for his fellow team-mate will help the team and Cyrus in particular, to emerge stronger from this incident."


PFAI general secretary Stephen McGuinness added: “The nature of this incident is really shocking and no player should be subjected to that and we hope that the perpetrator is called to account.


“This incident should serve as a message to all involved in the game from grassroots upwards that racism needs a response from authorities and team-mates. It cannot be ignored."