'CLAIMS that a young Nigerian footballer had to endure a torrent of racist abuse from spectators at an underage game in Carlow have prompted strong criticism from the state’s racism watchdog.
Teboga Sebala, who moved to Carlow town with his family six years ago, was allegedly subjected to racist comments as he played for the Éire Óg club in an U14 semi-final against O’Hanrahans last Monday night.
A complaint by the father of one of his teammates is set to be investigated by the county’s underage GAA board.
The claims have also prompted an angry response from the National Consultative Committee on Racism and Interculturalism (NCCRI).
Adrian Tomlin and his wife were watching their son, Joe, play in goal for Éire Óg from the stand at Dr Cullen Park and he described how a group of young girls, encouraged by a group of adults nearby, shouted obscene and racial abuse at Teboga throughout the game.
“There were obscene racial comments like ‘kill the f***ing n***er’ and the like. It was ongoing throughout the match and Teboga was visibly upset,” said Mr Tomlin.
He said he pulled his wife away when she asked them to stop, because the group turned on her and she was in tears.
“I am beside myself, I am thinking of pulling my son from the sport,” he said, adding: “I come from the north of England where racial tension is a big problem and I bring up my children to be against this kind of behaviour.”
Teboga’s team manager Willie Quinlan said the player and his family did not want to talk about the matter, but revealed he had heard a lot of it on Monday night.
“When I asked him [Teboga] about it, he said ‘it’s just the usual, people are racist against my colour’. He knew where it was coming from but he doesn’t know who was saying it, he just said ‘it happens’.”
The manager should have pulled his team off the pitch if he could hear what was being said. Drive the bloody point home the hard way. You'll get fucking idiot and scumbags in all walks of life, but in this case you don't have to bloody pander to them. Any idiot who can verbally abuse a kid because of the colour of his skin is a filthy racist gobshite and their behaviour should not be condoned or tolerated.