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22nd Apr 2023

Blackpool charged by FA following sectarian abuse of James McClean

Rory Fleming

Blackpool James McClean

McClean had taken to social media in the aftermath of the game to highlight the alleged sectarian abuse he received.

Blackpool FC have been charged by the English FA in relation to abuse directed by the club’s fans towards James McClean during last week’s fixture against Wigan Athletic.

The game, which Blackpool won 1-0 against fellow relegation strugglers Wigan, was marred by the incident involving the Irish star and the home fans.

Following their decision to charge the Tangerines, the FA released a statement detailing the nature of the allegations.

“The club (Blackpool) allegedly failed to ensure its spectators – including anyone purporting to be its supporters or followers – conduct themselves in an orderly fashion and do not use words or otherwise behave in a way which is improper, offensive, abusive, indecent or insulting with either express or implied reference to religion”.

The club, who saw their relegation to League One albeit confirmed last weekend, have until this coming Friday (28th) to respond to the charges.

Taking to social media after the game, a frustrated McClean vented to his 85,000 Instagram followers about the incident.

Blackpool James McCleanThe Irish stalwart has made 98 appearances for his country to date. (Credit: Getty Images)

“Section right in front of stewards and police (who responded with the words ‘nothing to do with us’), literally shouting loud and clear ‘f*** off you Irish fenian c***’ multiple times”.

It is not the first occasion in which the 34-year-old has been subjected to alleged sectarian abuse in England, with other reported incidents at Huddersfield Town and Millwall.

McClean has been targeted in the past for his refusal to wear a poppy on Remembrance weekend in the UK, which has seen widespread vitriol directed at the Ireland international.

Wigan themselves have come out in support of their full back, stating that “Wigan Athletic does not and will not accept any form of deliberate discrimination or hate crime towards its players, staff or supports… The club will continue to support James”.

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