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Barnsley charged over alleged sectarian abuse of Ireland and Stoke winger James McClean

McClean was the target of sectarian chants in the lead-up to Remembrance Sunday.

Updated Jan 3rd 2020, 8:03 PM

BARNSLEY HAVE BEEN charged by the Football Association [FA] after Ireland and Stoke City winger James McClean was allegedly the target of sectarian abuse in the sides’ November Championship clash.

huddersfield-town-v-stoke-city-sky-bet-championship-john-smiths-stadium James McClean. Source: Richard Sellers

Alleged sectarian chants were aimed at 30-year-old McClean at Oakwell in the lead-up to Remembrance Sunday.

An FA statement reads: “Barnsley FC has been charged with a breach of FA Rule E20.

“It is alleged that the club failed to ensure its spectators, and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers, conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refrained from using abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference, whether express or implied, to nationality and/or religion and/or beliefs, while attending an EFL Championship fixture against Stoke City FC on Saturday 9 November 2019.

“Barnsley FC has until Friday 10 January 2020 to respond.”

Barnsley — who were beaten 4-2 on that occasion — acknowledged the charge in a statement of their own, and added:

“Barnsley Football Club has a zero tolerance policy on any form of discrimination. As a club, we are saddened to have had this charge brought against us. Since the incident was first reported, as a club, we have been thoroughly investigating and we will continue to do so.

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barnsley-v-stoke-city-sky-bet-championship-oakwell McClean facing Barnsley in November. Source: EMPICS Sport

“Anybody found to be involved in any form of abusive behaviour when representing Barnsley Football Club will be banned from attending matches.

We will await and respect the outcome of the FA’s charge against us before communicating further on this matter.

This news comes after the Professional Footballers’ Association [PFA] pledged its support to McClean following the most recent bout of alleged sectarian abuse aimed at the Derry native while on club duty.

Since moving to England in 2011, the Ireland winger has regularly been targeted due to his refusal to wear a poppy.

The latest occurrence came during his side’s win away to Huddersfield Town on New Year’s Day. Huddersfield have launched an investigation into the alleged abuse from the crowd, which caused the game to be paused briefly when McClean raised the issue with referee James Linington.

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Emma Duffy

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