The English Football Association have launched an investigation after James McClean was allegedly targeted with sectarian chanting by Barnsley fans.
The Republic of Ireland international was said to have been targeted during Stoke City’s 4-2 win over Barnsley at Oakwell on Saturday afternoon. According to the Daily Mail, a small section of supporters regularly booed McClean and songs containing the words ‘f**k the Pope and the IRA’ were heard being sung during the game.
The Mail report that the incident was noted by the match official and the FA is now investigating the matter.
The Championship fixture was played on the day before Remembrance Sunday, when the United Kingdom pays respect to those who lost their lives serving in the British military during both world wars and other conflicts.
McClean has chosen not to wear the Remembrance Day poppy during his time in English football and has faced abuse from some supporters as a result. The 31-year-old has even received death threats for his stance.
McClean has said he won’t wear the poppy due to the actions of the British Army on Bloody Sunday in his native Derry in 1972.
In 2015, he eloquently explained his stance in an open letter to fans of his former club West Brom.
“We are coming up to Remembrance Day and I won’t wear a poppy on my shirt. People say I am being disrespectful but don’t ask why I choose not to wear it.”
“If the poppy was simply about World War One and Two victims alone, I’d wear it without a problem. I would wear it every day of the year if that was the thing but it doesn’t, it stands for all the conflicts that Britain has been involved in. Because of the history where I come from in Derry, I cannot wear something that represents that.”