herald

Sunday 20 May 2018

Ireland star Christie to make complaint over racist abuse

Ireland star Cyrus Christie
Ireland star Cyrus Christie

Ireland football star Cyrus Christie will meet with gardai to make a formal statement about the racist abuse he has suffered online.

It is understood that copies of the vile messages the player received on Twitter have been passed to detectives.

A source said Christie is due to return from England to make a statement to officers "imminently".

Some of the messages referred to the player as a n****r, while others said he "should play for Jamaica".

Many of the tweets have since been deleted.

There was no response from Twitter last night to questions about whether it would aid any investigation into the abuse or if it had taken action against the accounts publishing it.

Middlesbrough defender Christie has received massive backing from Irish football fans and stars since hitting back at the racist abuse, including support from Ireland hero Paul McGrath.

"I think it's outrageous, Ireland has always been a very diverse country," Christie told the Herald.

McGrath also posted a tweet saying he was "disgusted" about the racial abuse being levelled at the player.

"I put out the tweet just to call them out," he said.

Backing

Ray Houghton
Ray Houghton

An FAI spokesman said it was working with Christie to deal with the abuse, and the organisation was giving him its full support.

Christie has received backing from the Professional Footballers' Association in Britain. A spokesperson for the organisation said it will contact the player to offer him "any additional support he may require".

Christie's club last night released a statement backing him. "Middles- brough Football Club condemns the disgusting abuse aimed at Cyrus Christie following the Republic of Ireland's defeat to Denmark in Dublin last week," it said.

"We hope the authorities involved in the investigation will find the culprits, bring them to justice and send out a clear message that this type of behaviour is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated."

Former international Ray Houghton has called on social media websites to do more.

"The people who are running these websites have got to be more diligent about what's going on and make sure the authorities are given the ability to catch them and punish them for what they're doing," he told RTE Radio One.

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