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Dublin: 5°C Saturday 16 January 2021

Shamrock Rovers condemn 'hateful' racist and sexist abuse of their U17 players

A series of appalling comments appeared beneath a YouTube livestream of the teams’ respective national league finals.

Shamrock Rovers today condemned the appalling abuse of their underage players.
Shamrock Rovers today condemned the appalling abuse of their underage players.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

SHAMROCK ROVERS HAVE issued a strong statement condemning “hateful” online abuse of their girls’ and boys’ U17 players during FAI livestreams of their national league final with Cork City. 

Rovers’ U17 player Jessie Stapleton highlighted some of the vile comments in a post on Twitter after the game, and it has been widely shared online. 

The tweet contained screenshots of comments about players and officials and captioned, “What comes with playing girls football in Ireland.’

An FAI spokesperson told The42 on Christmas Eve that the comments were “not acceptable” and have been removed from the livestream. The FAI also said they would closely monitor comments on future streams of games. 

Shamrock Rovers have today also issued a strong condemnation of these comments, along with racist abuse aimed at some of their U17 boys’ players during their league final with Bohemians last week.

“Shamrock Rovers F.C. condemns the abusive language that appeared anonymously in the YouTube hosted stream of the recent Rovers v Cork City Women’s U17 National League Final.  The comments were both hurtful and hateful.  The club has expressed its concern to the FAI, which has issued a public statement on the matter.  

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“We are extremely proud of our Under 17 Women’s team and management who, in their first season, made it all the way to the League Final.  All of the girls are eligible for U17 football next year.  They are a fantastic group who train with our Boys teams also at the Academy.  These girls have achieved so much, so soon and are the foundation of our developing women’s football section at the club.  

“We admire the dignity and solidarity that our Under 17 girls players have maintained this week. The club recognises the offence caused, and it offers its full support to the girls and their families.  We uphold the 20×20 vision that ‘if she can’t see it, she can’t be it.’  We are committed to establishing a safe and effective method for streaming or broadcasting our girls and women’s football.  They deserve to be seen. 

“Racist language, such as was levelled during the Boys’ U17 final earlier in the week, and sexist language such as what appeared during the Girls’ final, will not be tolerated by our Club.  There is no place for these mentalities in football or in society.  Shamrock Rovers F.C. will do everything in its power to adopt positive measures to protect and promote its players.”

With reporting by Emma Duffy


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Gavin Cooney

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