QPR Youth Team Abandoned Spain Friendly After Alleged Racist Abuse

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistAugust 14, 2019

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 17:  A general view of the exterior of Loftus Road before the Sky Bet Championship match between Queens Park Rangers and Ipswich Town at Loftus Road on August 17, 2013 in London, England, (Photo by Alex Broadway/Getty Images)
Alex Broadway/Getty Images

A Queens Park Rangers youth team abandoned a friendly match in Spain after players said they experienced racist abuse from the opposing players. 

Per the club's official website, the under-18 side faced AD Nervion FC on Aug. 8 as part of a pre-season tour of Seville. A QPR player informed coach Paul Furlong they were being racially abused, and Furlong told his players to leave the pitch.

Club CEO Lee Hoos backed the coach and players for their decision and said he believes clubs would not be able to get away with such behaviour in England:

"We take a very strong stance against racism and will not tolerate one of our players being subjected to the despicable comments experienced. I applaud Paul Furlong and his staff for reacting in such a manner and doing everything within their powers to protect the players. I am also very proud of our Under 18s who showed such maturity in the face of unacceptable provocation.

"Had this incident occurred in England I have no doubts the issue would be dealt with swiftly with a strong punishment by the FA. Unfortunately, it seems some countries have a long way to go in this respect and I urge UEFA to take the strongest possible action as incidents of this nature are happening far too often.

"At QPR we must not, and will not, stand for it. We have made many great strides in tackling racism in football but sadly there is still a long way to go. Racism in football is a reflection of problems within society and what's incredible is that we were warned of similar alleged incidents that had taken place in the region before we played there."

Hoos also expressed hope UEFA will make a statement on the matter, and the club confirmed they are "in dialogue" with the FA.

Per Rob Harris of the Associated Press, QPR did not reach out to the Spanish football association:

Rob Harris @RobHarris

QPR youth team abandoned friendly in Spain after racist abuse by opposition players. But QPR not demanding the Spanish FA investigates or punishes the players https://t.co/4x9NE8IBKO

Kick It Out, an organisation that concerns itself with equality in football, also published a statement on the incident:

Kick It Out @kickitout

Our statement on the decision by @QPR's youth team to walk off the pitch after alleged racist taunts. #KickItOut https://t.co/JXrOSwdZN1

According to the Mirror's Darren Lewis, it is the latest in a series of alleged racist incidents this summer.

Arsenal defender Jordi Osei-Tutu, who is on loan at VfL Bochum, walked off the pitch after alleged abuse by a St. Gallen player last week. The week before, the sister of Fulham's Cyrus Christie was allegedly struck and received racist abuse in front of her mother in the stands at Barnsley.

Last season, Raheem Sterling was the target of racist abuse from Montenegrin fans while playing for England. He hit back on Twitter:

Raheem Sterling @sterling7

Best way to silence the haters (and yeah I mean racists) 🙉😘 #2019 #getsomeeducation https://t.co/ohhkOJtdey

Per Sky Sports, the Montenegro coach said he heard no racist abuse during the match, a 5-1 win for the Three Lions. UEFA charged the nation with racist behaviour, as well as four other transgressions during the contest.