Neil Etheridge condemns racial abuse in England’s FA Cup
MANILA, Philippines—Neil Etheridge on Wednesday decried the racial abuse incident he reported during Birmingham City’s recent match against Blackburn Rovers in England’s Football Association (FA) Cup.
The Philippine Azkals goalkeeper took to social media after a 1-0 defeat in the replay of their fourth-round tie held at the Blues’ home ground St. Andrew’s.
“I know that one individual does not speak for an entire fanbase or everyone in society,” Etheridge said, days after the incident that took place over the weekend at Blackburn’s Ewood Park.
“I am proud of what I did to bring to light, once again, an ongoing problem that we all have a responsibility to tackle head on. Racism and all forms of discrimination should not be tolerated. We cannot eradicate it overnight, but if we can all keep doing our bit to educate those out there, I hope and pray that my child, and our children, can grow up in a better world,” he added.
Etheridge received support not only from his club but also from the Philippine Football Federation, which condemned the incident.
Blackburn said it is also investigating the matter while local police, according to news reports in England, is looking for witnesses.
Birmingham and Blackburn settled for a 2-2 tie, forcing a replay to determine which team will advance to the fifth round of the prestigious cup competition.
But hopes of Etheridge and the Blues progressing fell short after an own goal conceded by teammate Auston Trusty in extra time.
“Extremely disappointed with the outcome of yesterday’s game. Gutted to be out of the FA Cup!” said Etheridge.