Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

16.10 2 Jan 2020


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Huddersfield Town manager Danny Cowley has spoken out against the alleged sectarian abuse suffered by Stoke City's James McClean at the John Smith's Stadium.

Republic of Ireland international McClean reported the abuse to match referee James Linington during the 5-2 victory for Stoke in the Championship on New Year's Day.

Linington then spoke with both Cowley and his Stoke counterpart Michael O'Neill, and in the second half an announcement was made over the PA calling for an end to "offensive behaviour" that was interfering with the game.

Derry native McClean has regularly been on the receiving end of sectarian abuse while playing in England, mostly stemming from his long-held refusal to wear a remembrance poppy in the lead-up to November 11.

Stoke head of media Fraser Nicholson says McClean also reported abuse received in the St. Stephen's Day win over Sheffield United at the Bet 365 Stadium.

Huddersfield have promised to investigate the New Year's Day incident.

Speaking ahead of Saturday's FA Cup 3rd round trip to Southampton, Cowley says such abuse is part of a wider societal problem.

"The first I knew about it [McClean's abuse] was when the ref spoke to us", Cowley adds.

"We’re waiting for his report but for us there’s no place in football for discrimination on any level.

"I love this game dearly and it’s horrible when situations like this arise. Unfortunately it’s not just football, it’s society, and it’s something we all need to tackle together."

Cowley says he's made his squad aware of the issue, "We made the players aware of the guidelines around it and also tried to educate them so they have an understanding of other races and religious beliefs.

"For me it’d be boring it everyone was the same.

"We have a lot of nationalities and cultures at this club and we’ve enjoyed working in that."


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Championship Danny Cowley Huddersfield Town James Mcclean Michael O'Neill Poppy Republic Of Ireland Stoke City

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