QPR urge Uefa to act strongly over racist abuse in under-18 game in Spain | Football
Queens Park Rangers have called on Uefa to take stronger action against racism after their under-18 team were forced to leave the pitch during a recent friendly in Spain.
QPR say all 11 youth players walked off in the second half of a match against AD Nervión last Thursday after members of the team were subjected to monkey noises and racist abuse from their opponents.
Lee Hoos, QPR’s chief executive, said the club had been made aware of the risk of racist behaviour before they travelled to Spain. Working with the anti-racist organisation Kick It Out they devised an appropriate response should it happen to them. That protocol ultimately proved necessary in Andalucia last week.
Hoos said: “We take a very strong stance against racism and will not tolerate one of our players being subjected to the despicable comments experienced.
“I applaud [the under-18 coach] Paul Furlong and his staff for reacting in such a manner and doing everything within their powers to protect the players. I am also very proud of our under‑18s who showed such maturity in the face of unacceptable provocation.
“Had this incident occurred in England I have no doubts the issue would be dealt with swiftly with a strong punishment by the FA.
“Unfortunately, it seems some countries have a long way to go in this respect and I urge Uefa to take the strongest possible action as incidents of this nature are happening far too often. “At QPR we must not, and will not, stand for it,” Hoos said.
The protocol agreed with Kick it Out meant that players first informed their coach and the match officials of any abuse before Furlong ultimately took the decision to call his players off the pitch.
In taking collective action QPR’s behaviour is in contrast to previous incidents in which the victims of abuse have been forced to leave the field alone. “We will always back players and teams who leave the pitch after suffering significant discriminatory abuse, especially if they have followed the correct protocols,” a spokesperson for Kick it Out said.
“We have been in constant communication with the club since this incident and will continue to support all football clubs and players in the fight against discrimination in the game,” the spokesperson added.