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Airdrie footballer ‘subjected to racist abuse by own supporter’

Rico Quitongo said the abuse occurred during his side's match against Queen's Park at Firhill.

Airdrie footballer ‘subjected to racist abuse by own supporter’ SNS Group

A footballer for Airdrieonians has said he was subjected to racist abuse by one of the club’s supporters.

Rico Quitongo claimed that the abuse occurred during his side’s match with Queen’s Park at Firhill Stadium on Saturday.

On Twitter, the defender said that he was “hugely disappointed” to hear the abuse from a section where his family would normally be sitting.

And he indicated that there is a pending investigation, with the club supporting him “as much as they can”.

In a message, he wrote: “Can’t believe I’m actually writing this but here goes… Saturday at my football game away to Queen’s Park I was subjected to racial abuse by one of my own Airdrie supporters.

“Now as I’m not surprised with this still in football I am more hugely disappointed to hear it from a section where my family would normally be sitting.

“Thankfully my family weren’t there but it makes no difference it shouldn’t be in football and I absolutely don’t deserve to be personally abused for my skin colour.

“I’m all for banter with fans etc but I will not tolerate it whatsoever.”

He continued: “I am proud to be black and proud to be who I am.

“I may not be the best footballer for fans but I shouldn’t be singled out period.

“The club have a pending investigation and are supporting me as much as they can but you can’t always catch these idiots that make these remarks which upsets me.

“This is not a cry for sympathy as is the last thing I’d want but more needs done for cowards to change!!!”

Airdrieonians have now confirmed that they are investigating the incident and have appealed for any witnesses to approach the club in confidence.

A club statement read: “Following a social media post made by a current member of the Airdrieonians squad, we can confirm that the club are conducting an investigation into alleged racist remarks made by a supporter. 

“As a club, Airdrieonians will not tolerate racism. Any individual using racist language is not welcome at Airdrieonians FC and will face a lifetime ban from attending matches.  

“Anyone who witnessed or heard the incident during the match against Queen’s Park last Saturday should contact the club in the strictest of confidence at boardofdirectors@airdriefc.com

“Rico Quitongo has the full support of everyone at the club. Many of our supporters have contacted the club directly expressing their support and respect for Rico.

“Pending the results of the investigation, the club will be making no further comment.”