Ulster Rugby vow to 'robustly investigate any complaints' after Simon Zebo says he was abused by fans

The Irish star suggested he was subjected to racial comments at Kingspan Stadium in Belfast.

ULSTER RUGBY SAY they will investigate ‘any complaints’ of racism from supporters, in the wake of yesterday’s game with Racing 92 in Belfast.

Simon Zebo suggested he was subjected to abuse from fans at Kingspan Stadium during the home side’s 26-22 Champions Cup win.

Following the game, the Irish star tweeted: “A tough place to play but great effort from the boys, 2 important points on the road. Also I hope my ears deceived me with some comments directed my way from the crowd #NotOn Django wins in the end.”

The last comment from the ex-Munster player appears to be a reference to ‘Django Unchained’ — a 2012 Quentin Tarantino film whose protagonist, a former slave in 1850s America, battles against a tyrannical, racist plantation owner.

“Ulster Rugby condemns all forms of abuse and will work with the relevant parties to robustly investigate any complaints received,” a statement, released to The42 by the province, reads. 

European rugby chiefs, meanwhile, says they’ve been in contact with both clubs. In a statement released to RTÉ Sport, they say: “EPCR has not received a formal complaint from Racing 92 regarding any alleged case of verbal abuse of one of the club’s players during yesterday’s Heineken Champions Cup, Pool 4 match at the Kingspan Stadium.

“EPCR is in contact with both Ulster Rugby and Racing 92, and will be making no further comment at this point.” 

Former Ulster player Neil Best responded to Zebo’s comments, tweeting: “Racism has no place in sport and no place in any other area of life. But vague hints/suggestions something may have been said does a great disservice to the many @ulsterrugby fans who were hostile not based on any player’s race/ethnicity. Complaint/Investigation/Outcome/Process.”

Zebo was booed by the crowd in Belfast during Saturday’s match. The 28-year-old  scored a try and was subsequently replaced at half-time yesterday.

When the teams met in the reverse fixture in Paris back in October, the Corkman received criticism and subsequently apologised for prematurely celebrating a try.

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Paul Fennessy

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