High-profile Thomond Park friendly ‘soured’ by racist incident

Alan Owens

Reporter:

Alan Owens

OFFICIALS in Limerick FC and Thomond Park have expressed outrage at an incident that took place during the high-profile friendly against Manchester City which saw an ‘offensive object’ thrown onto the pitch.

OFFICIALS in Limerick FC and Thomond Park have expressed outrage at an incident that took place during the high-profile friendly against Manchester City which saw an ‘offensive object’ thrown onto the pitch.

City’s French international defender Gael Clichy took to Twitter after the match to denounce a “banana throwing” incident during the game, which was attended by some 20,000 people.

“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.

While the tweet caused a minor storm on Twitter on Sunday night and saw the story picked up by major news outlets around the world, no official complaint was made by the player or the club, who were delighted at the ecstatic welcome they received during their brief visit to the city.

Officials from the local club and Thomond Park met with local gardaí on Monday afternoon to review CCTV footage and to “continue attempts to identify a person that threw an offensive object onto the playing field”.

“An incident of this nature is completely unacceptable and is fully condemned by Limerick FC and Thomond Park,” read a statement issued after the meeting.

“CCTV footage is still being analysed and when the offending party is identified appropriate action will be taken. It is deeply upsetting that the actions of one individual have soured the experience for all those in attendance.”

Officials refused to speculate further about the incident at the time of going to print, but it is understood that the incident happened in the first half of the match and is thought to have happened in or close to the East Terrace end of the stadium. The statement added that “any individual identified as being involved in an incident of this nature will be banned from future attendance”.

The incident marred what was otherwise a superb occasion, with City running out comfortable 4-0 winners on the night.

Limerick FC expressed the hope that the fixture will be the first of many to take place in the city.