QPR have urged European football’s governing body UEFA to take the ‘strongest possible action’ after the club’s Under-18 side walked off the pitch during a friendly following alleged racist abuse by opposition players.
Manager Paul Furlong was made aware of the incident in the second half against Spanish side Nervion on August 8 and it was decided to follow a protocol that had been established during an equality and diversity session with anti-discrimination campaigners Kick It Out before they travelled to Spain.
QPR chief executive Lee Hoos said in a club statement: “We take a very strong stance against racism and will not tolerate one of our players being subjected to the despicable comments experienced.”
“I applaud Paul Furlong and his staff for reacting in such a manner and doing everything within their powers to protect the players. I am also very proud of our Under-18s who showed such maturity in the face of unacceptable provocation,” he said.
“Had this incident occurred in England I have no doubts the issue would be dealt with swiftly with a strong punishment by the FA.
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“Unfortunately, it seems some countries have a long way to go in this respect and I urge UEFA to take the strongest possible action as incidents of this nature are happening far too often.
“At QPR we must not, and will not, stand for it.”
Hoos added: “There is an opportunity here for UEFA to make a strong statement. I hope it is an opportunity they take.”
Kick It Out said in a statement: “We will always back players and teams who leave the pitch after suffering significant discriminatory abuse, especially if they have followed the correct protocols.
“We have been in constant communication with the club (QPR) since this incident and will continue to support all football clubs and players in the fight against discrimination in the game.”
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UEFA and FIFA have been contacted for comment.
UEFA maintain the fight to eliminate racism, discrimination and intolerance from football is a major priority for the governing body, with discriminatory behaviour not tolerated in any of their competitions.
All incidents occurring in domestic matches fall under the jurisdiction of the relevant national association, while those occurring in friendly matches fall under the jurisdiction of world governing body FIFA.