English and Scottish FAs asked to investigate all reports of anti-Irish discrimination

Show Racism the Red Card Ireland has called on the English and Scottish FAs to investigate all reports of anti-Irish discrimination following incidents involving James McClean and Neil Lennon.

Derry-born McClean says he has suffered “sectarian abuse” from fans over his decision to not wear a Remembrance poppy and claims the perpetrators have gone unpunished by the FA.

The Stoke winger labelled some sections of the club’s support as “uneducated cavemen” and received a formal warning from the FA for using for using an offensive word on social media.

The Republic of Ireland international accused the FA of a double standard and says he has been unfairly treated due to his Irish Catholic upbringing.

“If it was a person’s skin colour or if it was anti-Muslim, someone’s gender, there would be an uproar and it would be taken in a completely different way and dealt with in a different manner,” he said.

McClean went on to reference Hibernian manager Neil Lennon, who claimed he is a victim of racism after being hit with a coin during the Edinburgh derby against Hearts.

“Like in Neil Lennon’s case in Scotland, because we are Irish Catholics, they turn a blind eye and nothing is ever said and done,” added McClean.

A joint statement released by Show Racism the Red Card Ireland, Show Racism the Red Card UK and the Professional Footballers Association of Ireland called on the English and Scottish FAs to properly investigate claims of anti-Irish discrimination.

The statement read: “Racism on the basis of colour, nationality, religion or ethnicity is not acceptable and all within the game have a responsibility to respond appropriately.

“James McClean has stood in solidarity with team-mates who have experienced racism and spoken out.

“We stand in solidarity with James McClean, Neil Lennon and all those who experience racism.

“We call on both the Football Association in England and the Scottish Football Association to investigate all incidents of anti-Irish discrimination.

“We also call on both associations to invest funding in anti-racism education to help both supporters and young people understand the dangers and the impact of racism.”

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