Derry-born soccer player James McClean has accused English football authorities of turning a blind eye to what he says is “eight years of sickening abuse” over his nationality.
The Ireland international was the target of sectarian abuse during Wigan Athletic’s match at Sunderland earlier this month and he called on the English football authorities to take action.
Footage shared on social media shows Sunderland supporters targeting McClean with sectarian chants. Both the English Football Association (FA) and various clubs of the English Football League (EFL) have issued statements in regard to the abuse, but no meaningful action has ever been taken to end it.
Speaking out on social media, the Derryman shared some footage of the Sunderland chants which were filmed by a local journalist and said that he received anti-Irish abuse throughout the game.
In his post, McClean wrote: “For my son, who is seven years old and watches every Wigan game... to be asking his mother, ‘why are they booing and singing that song at Daddy?’ And to have to tip toe around answering him is something which should not be happening.
“This post is not one for sympathy [trust me, it is not wanted] but one of anger. Considering every single year we have an FA representative come into each club to discuss the same old crap they spew to us about discrimination. Every single year, I challenge them on the abuse. Every single year, they do nothing.
“This clip is one [from] yesterday, which can be heard clearly of one particular chant, as well as other chants of ‘f**k the pope and IRA’, being sung by the majority of the 30k crowd, as well as numerous individual chants of ‘fenian bastard, fenian c**t’, ‘you dirty Irish c**t’.
“[This was] while displaying a tribute before game honouring Niall Quinn, who is also the same nationality as myself. Couldn’t make the stupidity up.
“Now, everyone who attended the game would have heard this loud and clear including the referee, match officials and other officials! I should not have to report every single incident when clearly they can all hear what I hear, and they should be doing their job by taking action!
“I would be lying if I was to say I expect anything to be done about this by the FA and EFL [history shows this] but here is another chance sure. And I certainly don’t expect any action to be taken by Sunderland themselves, given they did nothing when I was their player.”