Livingston Football Club have said they will take steps to ensure punishment of an individual they say racially abused one of their players.
The Premiership side announced the signing of former Hearts and St Mirren forward Esmael Goncalves on Tuesday lunchtime, only to tweet an hour later that they were “aware of a tweet containing racial abuse”.
The abusive message has since been deleted but the club say they will take action to pursue the person responsible, and make sure they face consequences.
Livingston’s tweet read: “The club is aware of a tweet containing racial abuse aimed at new signing Esmaël Gonçalves. We’ll be following the relevant protocol to ensure this is dealt with appropriately and pushing to ensure the Twitter user is punished accordingly.”
The club had announced Goncalves had signed a two-year deal to join David Martindale’s side, with the layer making the move from Sheikh Russel FC.
The 30-year-old Guinea-Bissau international has played in France, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, Saudi Arabia, Uzbekistan, Iran, Japan, India and Bangladesh but is best known in Scotland for a stint with St Mirren, where he helped the club win the League Cup, and a year at Hearts that saw him score 15 times.
Livingston manager Martindale said: “I’m really happy to get this one over the line. I was alerted to Esma’s availability a few weeks ago and after some due diligence, I arranged for Esma to fly over and have a look at the club last week.
“I had a very enjoyable chat about football with Esma and knew he would be a good fit for our club. He hasn’t played a lot of football of late but I feel we can afford him that opportunity.
“Esma can play anywhere across the front three but was more predominantly used as a number nine in his previous spells in Scotland.
“He knows the league well and likes the physicality the Scottish league will throw at him and has an eye for a goal
“I’m confident that Esma, once up-to-speed, will prove to be a valuable member of the first-team squad.”