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05th Nov 2018

James McClean blasts FA investigation, claims blind eye turned to abuse because he’s Irish catholic

Paul Moore

erin McClean

An extremely passionate response from the Irishman.

Following James McClean’s recent Instagram post, which addressed the heinous abuse that he suffered during Stoke City’s 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough at the weekend, the FA have announced  that they’re investigating the conduct of the Irish winger.

Of course, McClean’s stance on not wearing a poppy has been known for years.

The 29-year-old took the same approach at his previous clubs – Sunderland, Wigan Athletic and West Bromwich Albion – and he has previously been extremely articulate about his reasons for not wearing the poppy.

Stoke City are conducting their own internal investigation into the matter but McClean has responded to the FA’s actions.

Here’s what he said via an Instagram post: “The FA are investigating me after Saturday’s event, for what exactly? Week in, week out, for the past 7 years, I get constant sectarian abuse, death threats, objects being thrown, chanting which is heard loud and clear every week which my family, wife and kids have to listen to.”

McClean adds: “They turn a blind eye and not a single word or condemnation of any sort. Huddersfield away last year, while playing for West Brom, there was an incident with their fans which was on the game highlights. The cameras clearly caught it, yet the FA, when a complaint was made to them, said there ‘was not enough evidence.’ If it was a person’s skin colour, or if it was anti-muslim, someone’s gender, there would’ve (been) an uproar and it would be taken in a completely different way and dealt with in a different manner, but like Neil Lennon’s case in Scotland because we are Irish Catholics, they turn a blind eye and nothing is ever said and done.”

Regarding the mention of Neil Lennon in the Instagram post, the former Celtic manager recently said that that he “may reconsider” his position as Hibernian manager following an incident in which he was struck in the face by a coin in the closing moments of a recent derby against Hearts.

In the aftermath of the match against Hearts, Lennon said: “You call it sectarianism here in Scotland, I call it racism. If a black man is abused, you’re not just abusing the colour of his skin – you’re abusing his culture, heritage, background. It’s the exact same when I get called a Fenian, a pauper, a beggar, a tarrier by these people with the sense of entitlement, the superiority complex. All I do is stand up for myself.”

Here’s McClean’s post in full.

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