MANCHESTER City soccer star Gael Clichy has taken to Twitter to praise the majority of the 20,000 fans who attended the friendly between the English Premier League champions and Limerick FC on Sunday night.
Clichy used the site to acknowledge “all the Irish football lover [sic], Limerick and Munster fans”, who he said he would “never put in the same basket of this/those people” – a direct reference to the incident of racism that took place at the match, when a banana was thrown at the player from a section of the East terrace in Thomond Park.
Clichy continued: “The support was great and it was a great day. Thanks again for that”.
Clichy had tweeted on Sunday night to denounce the “banana throwing” incident during the game.
“How sad to see ‘bananas thrown on the pitch’ tonight ... Knowing people around the world need food. #nowordsforthis,” wrote the City star on his official profile on the social media site.
Gardai are continuing to review footage from the match in an attempt to identify the person or persons who threw the “offensive object” onto the pitch.
Limerick FC chairman Pat O’Sullivan said that “gardai had been authorised to make their enquiries” and he did not wish to comment further on the incident while that investigation was ongoing.
“Obviously we abhor what has happened [but] we are not going to allow it to distract from where we are at,” he said, stressing that overall the match was “a brilliant event” and a “wonderful success”.
Meanwhile, Doras Luimní have called on anyone with information about the ‘cowardly act’ of racism towards Clichy to come forward.
The service, set up in 2000 to promote social inclusion, integration and support for migrants, echoed the condemnation of the action from Thomond Park and Limerick FC officials and are supporting the efforts made by Gardai and Limerick FC to use CCTV footage to identify the culprit.
In a statement, Doras said they were “asking for the culprit to be identified by releasing their image to the media”.
“The individual/s who did this used the anonymity of the crowd to conduct their cowardly act, and by making this public we can prevent further events by removing the veil of anonymity,” said the statement.
“Doras Luimní agrees wholeheartedly with the call made by our partners SARI (Sport Against Racism Ireland) in their call for prosecution and a life ban from all sports grounds being levied against the perpetrator,” it added.