Airdrie defender says he was racially abused by one of team's own fans

Airdrie’s Rico Quitongo says he was racially abused by one of his team’s own fans during Saturday’s Scottish League 1 draw with Queen’s Park.

Quitongo said he is “not surprised” but “hugely disappointed” and added “more needs done for cowards to change”.

Airdrie confirmed they are investigating the incident and warned they will impose a lifetime ban on “any individual using racist language”.

Airdrie have appealed for witnesses to contact the club in confidence.

Writing on social media, 22-year-old defender Quitongo said: “It shouldn’t be in football and I absolutely don’t deserve to be personally abused for my skin colour.

“I’m all for banter with fans etc but I will not tolerate it. I am proud to be black and proud to be who I am.

"The club have a pending investigation and are supporting me as much as they can, but you can't always catch the idiots who make these remarks, which upsets me."

Rico Quitongo, Airdrie FC

Quitongo, whose father Jose played for Hearts and Hamilton Academical and brother Jai is currently with Queen’s Park, played the full 90 minutes of the goalless draw at Firhill.

In a statement, Airdrie said: “We can confirm that the club are conducting an investigation into alleged racist remarks made by a supporter.

“As a club, Airdrieonians will not tolerate racism. Any individual using racist language is not welcome at Airdrieonians FC and will face a lifetime ban from attending matches.

“Rico Quitongo has the full support of everyone at the club. Many of our supporters have contacted the club directly expressing their support and respect for Rico.”

Original article 15.09.21 on the BBC Sport website

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