Saturday 04 June 2011

FA to investigate Mido racist chants

FA to investigate Mido racist chants
Be quiet: Mido responds to a section of Newcastle fans 

Despite Middlesbrough striker Mido calling for a line to be drawn under the racist chants levelled at him by Newcastle fans, the Football Association said yesterday they would be contacting both clubs over the incident.

Mido was subjected to Islamophobic chants by Newcastle supporters in a 2-2 draw against Middlesbrough on Sunday and although Riverside officials have declared the matter closed, the FA could still take action.

"We, and Mido, want a line drawn under it," said Middlesbrough manager Gareth Southgate who described the incident as a one-off and insisted an apology from Newcastle was unnecessary.

"It was an unfortunate incident," Southgate added. "It's not just down to it being Newcastle, it's more widespread than that within football. But it's beyond our control. We've got to move on. We've no problem with Newcastle here. We have very good relationships with them at all levels and we view it as an isolated incident. It stepped over the line of banter but that's in the past.

"I don't think a club can always take responsibility for the actions of their supporters. I don't think there was a lot of intent. In the cold light of day I'm sure people who did it would realise it wasn't the cleverest thing but you have to accept people in a group get carried along. It wasn't the right message. It was an experience we didn't enjoy but Mido's handled it very well."

Mido, 24, was booked by referee Mike Dean for turning on his tormentors after scoring and appears to have gone up in Southgate's estimations.

"I don't know if it will ever be resolved but when all players go on the field they know they will be goaded at some point but there's a line and I think it was crossed," he said. "But it's very hard to control when people do it in that vast number. I thought Mido did everything he could for our team. He reacted a little bit but he's a human being, that's understandable.

"He got back in control of his emotions very quickly. His conduct since has been exemplary, I'm very much in his corner, he's gone about things the right way."

The FA confirmed an investigation has been opened, with a spokesman stating: "We will be contacting both clubs for their observations on these events and we will take it from there."

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