Paul McGrath has backed Cyrus Christie after the Middlesbrough defender suffered online abuse following Ireland’s World Cup play-off defeat to Denmark last week.
It was reported on Monday that the FAI had passed information on to An Garda Síochána who are investigating the alleged racist abuse.
A joint statement from the Professional Footballers’ Association of Ireland (PFAI) and Show Racism the Red Card (SRTRC) condemned the actions of those who directed abuse towards Christie, with PFAI general secretary Stephen McGuinness stating this kind of abuse ‘cannot be ignored’.
“We fully support all efforts to stamp out racism from the game and that includes comments targeting players on social media.
“The nature of this incident is really shocking and no player should be subjected to that and we hope that the perpetrator is called to account. This incident should serve as a message to all involved in the game from grassroots upwards that racism needs a response from authorities and team mates. It cannot be ignored.”
One of Ireland’s greatest ever players, McGrath, has since backed the Coventry-born right-back, echoing the FAI’s showing of support for their player with the hashtag #oneofourown.
Disgusted to hear the racial comments towards Cyrus Christie on social media, no player deserves that. I’m sure Cyrus will rise above it and answer his critics on the field. #oneofourown #cowards pic.twitter.com/Zu1qthNnE7
— Paul McGrath (@Paulmcgrath5) November 20, 2017
Following Seamus Coleman’s horrific leg break against Wales in March of this year Christie has stepped into the breach and acquitted himself well as the qualifying campaign reached its crescendo.
He now has 17 international caps to his name and two goals for the Boys in Green.