Sun, Dec 31, 2017 - Page 10 News List

FA to pressure action on Brewster racism claims

AFP, LONDON

The Football Association (FA) lent its full support to Rhian Brewster, the leading scorer in England’s Under-17 World Cup victory earlier this year, over his claims of suffering racial abuse and said it would push for an “appropriate response from the relevant authorities.”

The 17-year-old — who is yet to make his debut for Liverpool’s first team — on Thursday said that UEFA “don’t really care” about racism.

SEVEN CASES

Brewster said he had witnessed racial abuse — either aimed at him or a teammate — seven times this year.

The FA in a statement on Friday said they understood his frustrations.

“In Rhian’s case, we have visited him at his club to discuss his concerns and understand his frustration at the perceived lack of action,” the statement said. “He has our full support and we will continue to push for appropriate responses from the relevant authorities.”

The FA added they wanted to collaborate closely with UEFA and FIFA over the issue. “Our hope is to work closely with UEFA and FIFA to learn from these issues and to ensure a better way forward in order to protect young players,” it said.

Brewster — who scored two hat-tricks in two games at the Under-17 World Cup, including one in the semi-final against Brazil — told Thursday’s edition of the Guardian that UEFA was turning a blind eye to the issue.

“I don’t think UEFA take this thing seriously. They don’t really care. That is how it feels anyway, like it has been brushed under the carpet,” he said.

Brewster said UEFA have yet to hold an inquiry into an incident involving Russian side Spartak Moscow three weeks ago in which he claims he was the target of a racist remark by opposing captain Leonid Mironov.

Mironov denies he made a racial slur during the UEFA Youth League match.

LINGERING EFFECT

Brewster, who says he also suffered abuse in a European Championship Under-17 match against Ukraine and when playing Spanish outfit Sevilla in an Under-19 clash, said the slurs have an effect.

“On the day it happens, that night my head won’t be there. I just want to be left alone,” he said. “I want to be by myself and left to think. The next day I’ll still be thinking about it.”

Under UEFA’s rules, any player found guilty of making racial slurs can be suspended for a minimum of 10 matches.

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