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21st Jul 2023

English club fined for sectarian abuse of Ireland’s James McClean

Lee Costello

“An action plan has now been imposed to deter a recurrence of any further misconduct.”

The Football Association charged Blackpool £35,000 after Wigan’s James McClean was subjected to sectarian abuse during a Championship match in April.

The club accepted the charge and an independent regulatory commission imposed the fine in the hope that fans will be discouraged from using abusive language in the future.

James McClean

English club Blackpool fined for sectarian abuse of James McClean.

McClean has often been critical of the FA for a lack of action over sectarian abused that has been hurled at him previously.

In a statement, Blackpool said: “The club has a zero-tolerance policy towards discriminatory abuse of all kinds and fully condemns the conduct of any supporters who subject others to any form of abuse.

“Those responsible may be committing a criminal offence and moving forward will, if identified, be ejected and banned.

“As a result of the incident which took place in the early stages of this particular fixture, the club has been found guilty of misconduct under FA rules.

James McClean

“As well as a £35,000 fine, an action plan has now been imposed to deter a recurrence of any further misconduct.

“Should an incident such as this happen again, further implications could be imposed such as increased financial sanctions or the possibility of fixtures taking place behind closed doors.

“Blackpool Football Club will treat this matter with the utmost severity and intends to develop existing initiatives to become a more inclusive and proactive club, both at home and away fixtures.”

The Republic of Ireland international has been targeted by some opposing fans over his decision not to wear the poppy. McClean’s stance is in support of his home city of Derry, the scene of the Bloody Sunday shootings in 1972.

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