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James McClean (file pic).
James McClean (file pic).
Image: EMPICS Sport

FA to investigate anti-IRA chants aimed at James McClean - reports

The Irish international was abused by sections of the home support during Stoke City’s 4-2 win over Barnsley at Oakwell.
Nov 12th 2019, 2:39 PM 25,785 43

THE FOOTBALL ASSOCIATION (FA) are to investigate anti-IRA chants aimed at James McClean in a recent Championship match, according to reports.

The Irish international was abused by sections of the home support during Stoke City’s 4-2 win over Barnsley at Oakwell on Saturday.

According to the Stoke Sentinel, anti-IRA and anti-Pope songs were aimed at McClean.

The Derry native regularly comes under scrutiny, particularly around this time of year, and he has in the past been targeted by opposition fans. The increased importance of late that British football has placed on the wearing of poppies to commemorate Britain’s fallen soldiers — which has been criticised by some — coupled with McClean’s refusal to participate has rendered him a target of abuse.

According to the Daily Mail, the allegation of discriminatory behaviour has been included in referee Jeremy Simpson’s report on the game, with the FA investigating the matter and potentially fining Barnsley as a result of their fans’ behavour.

McClean, who has explained his reasons for not wearing a poppy, has regularly derided those that choose to abuse him, describing them as “uneducated cavemen,” while he has also expressed displeasure at the FA’s reluctance to take action in the past.

The player’s stance has been backed by the Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland and the Show Racism the Red Card group.

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