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Dundee United and Ross County continue war of words over racism allegation

Celtic v Dundee United – cinch Premiership – Celtic Park
(Image credit: Jane Barlow)

Dundee United declared they had received “corroboration” that Jeando Fuchs was racially abused by a Ross County fan after the Dingwall club claimed their supporters had been “exonerated” by the authorities.

The Cameroon international claimed the incident occurred as he celebrated United’s winning goal in the cinch Premiership encounter at Tannadice earlier this month.

County claimed a supporter had been misheard but the Tayside club have continued to stand by their player.

Moments before United manager Tam Courts arrived for his pre-match media conference ahead of Saturday’s game with Hibernian, County released a statement saying they had “received confirmation from the authorities that there was no evidence of racist language being used”.

Chief executive Steven Ferguson added: “We now feel that Ross County and our supporters have been fully exonerated, and we can draw conclusion on this matter.”

When told about the comments, Courts said: “At the time we were acting on allegations. I think those allegations have been corroborated and from my perspective it is purely wanting to support our player on the day and also stand shoulder to shoulder with our opponents on the day, their management team and also their wider fan base just to let them know that we as football people have to stand up for any allegations that are made.

“If I look at the incident that happened and the allegations, I am actually quite content about what unfolded in terms of our support for our player and also because as football fans we have to uphold ourselves to really high standards.

“We have total respect for Ross County as a club, we have a total respect for their wider fan base and on that day we were standing up for a very strong allegation that was later corroborated, just to say that, in football, as a representation of wider society, we are just not going to tolerate that.”

Ferguson had stated that a large amount of evidence was reviewed by various parties including Police Scotland.

“A report was then submitted to the SPFL and Scottish FA for their consideration,” he added.

“It was made clear from this evidence that absolutely no racist language had been used. The individual who had chanted also came forward during the investigation. His statement was corroborated by sources outwith Ross County that were in attendance.”

Police Scotland told the PA news agency that, although they were aware of the incident, they had received no formal complaint, which would have sparked an investigation. The SFA confirmed it had no role in investigations as crowd issues for league games fall under the SPFL’s remit.

An SPFL spokesman said: “After reviewing the match delegate’s report and information provided by Ross County and Dundee United, the SPFL has concluded there is insufficient evidence for any action to be taken by the SPFL against Ross County on this matter.”

County previously claimed Courts had acted irresponsibly in holding up a ‘Show Racism the Red Card’ T-shirt in front of the visiting fans at the final whistle but the United boss has no regrets.

“No, absolutely nothing at all,” he said.

“Again, when the allegations were made, what you have to factor in is that we had just scored a goal, Jeando came across to the bench at the time and, just to see the hurt in his face and also the feelings that invoked for him, and also the fact that we spoke to him at half-time and he was quite adamant what he heard.

“‘Show Racism the Red Card’ should never be seen as an act of intimidation, it should be seen as an act of peace and a reminder that we should be standing up for ourselves in terms of the wider society.”