Brookes futsal team fined after spectators shouted racial slurs at opposition player

The FA has investigated a racial slur used against the opposition at a futsal match

An FA investigation has found Oxford Brookes students shouted racial slurs at the opposition goalkeeper whilst watching a university futsal match.

At the match on 7th November last year, Brookes students called the opposition Staffordshire University’s goalkeeper a “fucking black keeper”.

The students, watching from the sidelines, were said to be drunk, a disciplinary report recently published by the FA has said.

The Brookes team has since been fined £75 and has been docked seven league table points by the Football Association’s Serious Case Panel.

Richard Stubbs, an FA adjudicator, said that “the comments were aggravated due to the reference to the colour of” the goalkeeper and the “apparent lack of contrition” from Brookes supporters, in the disciplinary report published recently.

Oxford Brookes has said that “harassment or abuse of any type had ‘no place’ at the university”, accepting that racist language had been used against the opposition’s goalkeeper. However, the Brookes team captain and two other students claimed by email to the FA that they had not heard any racist language being used.

A Brookes student provided a statement for the Football Association’s Panel, saying: “it is amusing that after a tough-to-take defeat, and their players giving just as much verbal abuse, if not more, they throw racism claims our way as their attempt at retribution.” However, the FA adjudicator said in the report that he did not “share” this “amusement” and noted that the claims had been raised during the game.

During the match, the goalkeeper told the referee that he was called a “fucking black goalkeeper” by Brookes students, and although the referee says he did not hear this remark, he was aware of the supporting students being rowdy and trying to put off the opposition by “sarcastically clapping the opposition to wind them up.”

After being told about the comment, the referee spoke to the supporting students about it, and the students left to the match to go to the bar.

A spokesperson for Oxford Brookes University said: “The University is aware of the findings by Oxfordshire Football Association with regards to a sporting event that took place in November 2021.

“Harassment or abuse of any type has no place at Oxford Brookes. As part of our commitment to maintaining an inclusive and respectful culture in all areas of University life, we are currently reviewing behaviour and practices within Brookes Sport, including all clubs, to ensure that policies and practices promote the culture, behaviours and values we expect of all our students.

“We have written to all student athletes to remind them of our behaviour expectations, including friends attending events as spectators. If any of our students, staff, or our wider community, have concerns about behaviour or practices in any aspect of University life, we would encourage them to report them via our dedicated University reporting tool, which can be done anonymously if preferred.”

The Oxford Brookes Futsal team said: “We make no comment on the alleged remark other than it is being handled by our committee and the University. We will make no further comments.”

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