Neil Etheridge reports racist incident during Birmingham’s FA Cup game
MANILA, Philippines — Birmingham City FC stood by Neil Etheridge after the Filipino goalkeeper reported an incident of racism from the spectators when his team tied the game and ended up a 2-2 draw with the Blackburn Rovers in the Emirates FA Cup on Saturday.
Birmingham said in a statement it is giving its full support to Etheridge, who reported the incident to the referee.
“The Club can confirm that during the second-half of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers, after the game’s fourth goal, Neil Etheridge reported an incident of racism to the referee,” the club wrote. “Subsequently, the match official, Keith Stroud, delayed the restart and spoke to the head coaches and captains of each side as per competition protocol. This will be included in the official’s match report and the Club will assist the FA and the authorities accordingly.”
“Blues gives its full support to Neil. There is no room for racism in the game,” the team added.
In a report by BBC News Midland, the Philippine Azkals member complained of being racially abused while the Blues were celebrating their injury-time equalizer from Jordan James. The goalkeeper went to the match official to complain.
The news website added that the Football Association will investigate the incident, while Blackburn will also hold its own investigation.
“The club has a zero-tolerance policy for all forms of abuse and discrimination, and will take the strongest possible action against any individuals identified for committing such offenses,” Rovers told BBC.
Birmingham and Blackburn Rovers will meet again in the fourth round on February 1.