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Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Barrow AFC boss won’t tolerate racist abuse (UK)

The Bluebird’s operations manager, Barry Fitzgerald, said Mr Kuipers told him after the match that supporters had verbally abused him and his family and directed monkey chants at him.

Mr Fitzgerald said match stewards and supporters in that vicinity agreed Mr Kuipers was being booed for slowing the play at goalkicks but none had heard any racist remarks.

Mr Keen said: “This incident is being handled with due care by the police and Barry Fitzgerald.

“We as a club cannot tolerate this sort of behaviour.

“It is now in the hands of our legal people and will be attended to for the good of the club.”

Before the match kicked off, Cumbria County Council neighbourhood development officer Derek Brook handed out about 800 anti-racism leaflets to fans.

He said he had seen some sort of incident at the goal but not heard anything personally. Mr Brook said he and his team worked hard to promote the Kick Racism Out message at local football, rugby and cricket matches.

He said: “Every now and then you think it is dying out and then something happens.

“In the 1970s and 1980s racism was widespread among football crowds, but it’s not like that now.

“It would be very sad if it had happened again in this day and age.

Weyman Bennett, joint secretary of Unite Against Fascism, said: “It’s good that Barrow AFC is taking these complaints seriously.

“Groups like the English Defence League have been targeting football games recently trying to whip up race hatred among fans.

“We must not let them take us back to the 1970s when racist taunts were commonplace in football grounds.”

A spokeswoman for Cumbria police was unable to comment.

North West Evening Mail