The Professional Footballers’ Association in England have offered support to James McClean in the wake of sectarian abuse he faced from fans on Wednesday night.
The Irish international was representing Stoke City against Huddersfield Town on New Year’s Day when the match officials stopped the game to inform both managers that McClean had reported that he had been receiving abuse from the stands.
McClean then applauded as it was announced over the tannoy that “racist chanting is affecting the game and will not be tolerated”.
Huddersfield Town are carrying out an investigation into the incident and now the PFA have offered their support to McClean claiming they want action in order to stop verbal abuse.
Following the incident, a PFA statement read:
“James has been subjected to this type of vile abuse throughout his career, and he will be fully supported in the same way as any other individual who receives abuse based on their race, religion or nationality.
“The PFA have previously advised James to report sectarian chanting to match officials and we are satisfied that in this instance the protocol was enacted.
“However, this action in isolation is not sufficient. We welcome that Huddersfield have committed to a full investigation to identify offenders; we hope that the perpetrators will face further consequences from both within and outside the game.
“As with other forms of discrimination, it has become clear that this type of abuse is on the rise and is becoming a weekly occurrence for James.
“We will be talking with PGMO and the EFL to ensure that match officials are vigilant to this type of chanting and hope to see future action taken proactively on James’ behalf.
“There is no justification for this or any other type of abuse and the PFA stands fully beside every player who faces discrimination.”