Racism claims after Belfast showdown
REACTION: Ireland international Simon Zebo was the target of “racist insults” during Racing 92’s European Cup match against Ulster in Belfast.
After the match, which Racing lost 22-26, Zebo, tweeted: “[Also] I hope my ears deceived me with some comments directed my way from the crowd.”
He added, in a reference to a Quentin Tarantino film, ‘Django Unchained‘: “Django wins in the end.”
His Parisian club emphasised on Monday that the abuse came from only a few fans.
“Racing 92, does not want to stigmatise the public at Ulster as a whole,” said the statement.
“Simon Zebo’s abuse came from only one or two isolated individuals and have been condemned by many Northern Irish fans who have shown their support for Simon.”
A tough place to play but great effort from the boys,2 important points on the road 💪🏾
Also I hope my ears deceived me with some comments directed my way from the crowd #NotOn
Django wins in the end ✌🏾 pic.twitter.com/GAqrQ8W6HQ
— Simon Zebo (@SimonZebo) January 12, 2019
Meanwhile, Ulster coach Dan McFarland called for information in order to get to the bottom of alleged abuse.
McFarland, speaking to the BBC, said: “We are aware of Simon’s social media postings. If that is true, it is totally unacceptable. As an organisation, we put inclusivity right at the forefront of what we are – that’s across everything.”
“If there’s anybody out there who knows what happened and if something happened and can give information on that, we want to know because nobody should have to put up with that.”
The European Professional Club Rugby organisation released a statement on Sunday which stated: “EPCR has not received a formal complaint from Racing 92 regarding any alleged case of verbal abuse of one of the club’s players during yesterday’s Heineken Champions Cup, Pool Four match at the Kingspan Stadium.
“EPCR is in contact with both Ulster and Racing 92, and will be making no further comment at this point.”
Ulster also released a statement saying: “Ulster condemns all forms of abuse and will work with the relevant parties to robustly investigate any complaints received.”
Zebo is from Cork in the Republic of Ireland. He played eight seasons for Munster and has 35 Ireland caps. His father came to Ireland from Martinique.