English Premier League (EPL) club Tottenham Hotspur has vowed a strong response to racial abuse directed at defender Destiny Udogie.
“We are disgusted by the racist messages directed at Udogie on social media following our match against Liverpool in the seventh round of the 2023-2024 EPL,” Tottenham said in a statement on its official website on 2 February.
“We will work with the EPL to identify and take action against those who sent the racist messages,” it warned, adding, “We stand with Destiny.”
Earlier, Liverpool striker Diogo Jota was sent off after accumulating a yellow card for a foul on Destiny in the seventh-round tie at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in London, England.
Liverpool were already down to nine men for the remainder of the game after Curtis Jones was shown a direct red card for a dangerous challenge in the 26th minute.
Kick It Out, an anti-discrimination organisation in football, said it was “appalling” that Udogie was racially abused.
“Whatever controversy or strong feelings there may be within the game, there is no justification for it to erupt in such a hateful way,” said Troy Townsend, director of Kick It Out.
“It is deeply concerning that players are consistently the target of the worst abuse on social media after matches, and it is a sad reflection on how much work remains to be done to eliminate discrimination in football.”
Meanwhile, the seventh-round tie between Tottenham and Liverpool saw a first-of-its-kind video assistant referee (VAR) error cost Liverpool a point.
In the 34th minute, Luis Dias scored from the right side of the goal area following a through ball from Liverpool’s Muhammad Salah, but VAR ruled him offside and Liverpool lost 1-2 to Tottenham.
“I’ve never seen a game played in such unfair circumstances,” said Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp after the game. It was a crazy call,” he said, while the Liverpool club released an official statement criticising the decision, saying that “the fairness of sport has been compromised”.
The Professional Match Officials’ Organisation of England (PGMOL) admitted to the VAR error and suspended the referees from their duties. 스포츠토토