Sinclair Armstrong proud for not punching alleged racial abuser
Sinclair Armstrong is proud of his response to alleged racial abuse.
Republic of Ireland Under-21s international Sinclair Armstrong has spoken of his pride in himself for resisting the urge to punch an opposition player after he was allegedly racially abused.
The 20-year-old QPR striker was warming up on the sideline during Ireland’s friendly against the Kuwait Under-22s in Austria last month when a comment was made which prompted him and his team-mates to walk off the pitch and the game to be abandoned after 60 minutes.
The Football Association of Ireland has backed the stance of the players and manager Jim Crawford and reported the matter to UEFA and FIFA, although the Kuwaiti FA categorically denied the accusation and claimed a halt was called because of “excessive roughness and tension between the players”.
Armstrong speaks about racial incident against Kuwait.
However, speaking to the Training121 podcast, Armstrong said: “I had never experienced racism on the pitch. I remember going out to warm up. It was me and Killian Phillips. He was right beside me.
“The lad made a gesture. Me being me, I just laughed. Then he said what he said, and I looked at him thinking: ‘There is no way he just said that’.
“It’s kind of like the devil and the angel on my shoulder. Should I go and punch him? Or calm yourself and see what happens.
“But I am proud of myself because I know I could have hit him. There was no one stopping me from hitting him, but I just thought, if I hit this lad, I’m not going to get anything out of it.
“He had already said what he said. I have already heard it.
“I am proud of myself that I didn’t hit him and just dealt with it the way I dealt with it, by just telling the linesman: ‘He said this’ and telling the gaffer: ‘He said this’. We just walked off.”
The game in Bad Radkersburg was one of two abandoned in Austria on the same day with New Zealand refusing to return for the second half of their fixture against Qatar after no action was taken over an alleged racist remark.
Armstrong stressed the need for education to address the issue and urged those affected to speak out.
He said: “It’s wrong. You can’t be saying this sort of stuff on the pitch. It happens again and again, but I hope I see change.
“We have to talk about it. Hopefully we do see change.”