Dundee outraged over online abuse of Irish striker Afolabi
Club describe abuse on-loan Celtic player received as ‘vile, disgraceful and sickening’
Jonathan Afolabi: Dundee striker has been the victim of online racist abuse. Photograph: Roddy Scott/SNS Group via Getty Images
Dundee have said they are considering ways of pursuing an incident of online racist abuse aimed at Irish striker Jonathan Afolabi over the weekend. The under-21 international was targeted through his Instagram account and subsequently reposted the messages himself to highlight what had happened.
He was the second Dundee player to receive such abuse in the space of a week and the club said that they had reported the matter to the police and been in contact with the social media company which said it had closed the account from which the messages came.
Afolabi is on a season-long loan to Dundee from Celtic and the Glasgow club issued a statement in support of the 20-year-old, described the abuse he had had to endure as “vile, disgraceful and... sickening.” The FAI also expressed its disgust at the incident on Sunday.
The player, though, is just the latest in a long line to suffer racist abuse inside grounds or online, from social media accounts. Barely two weeks ago, QPR’s Bright Osayi-Samuel was targeted after a game against Norwich in which he had scored from the penalty spot.
As it happens, Afloabi had come off the bench on Saturday to save his side from what would have been a humiliating cup defeat against Bonnyrig Rose. The Irishman’s 93rd minute goal forced the fixture into extra time and Dundee eventually won 3-2.
Other Ireland internationals to have been targeted in recent times include Callum Robinson, who revealed a few months ago that he had received abusive messages when he had first been called into a senior international squad, and Cyrus Christie who has who has been a victim on a number of occasions and has spoken about the racism he experienced as a child growing up in Coventry.
James McClean has been on the receiving end of both racist and sectarian abuse, much of it prompted by the political stand he has taken over the non-wearing of a poppy around Remembrance Day.
In terms of actual football, Afolabi’s late goal in Scotland was one of the brighter moments of a mixed weekend of mainly cup games for Irish players in Britain. After loan moves to Swindon and Preston respectively, there were debuts for Mark Travers and Jayon Molumby on Saturday with the goalkeeper helping his new side to a 3-2 league on win over Ipswich – Alan Judge got the home side’s second goal.
Molumby, meanwhile, got 75 minutes for Preston in the cup as they were well beaten by Wycombe Wanderers with Daryl Horgan getting on to provide the assists for his side’s fourth in a 4-1 win. Troy Parrott had a hand in one of Millwall’s two goals at Boreham Wood where the Londoners won and Rory Delap’s son, Liam, got on for the final 15 minutes of Manchester City’s 3-0 defeat of Birmingham City.
John Egan and David McGoldrick both played all 90 minutes as Sheffield United registered a much-needed win with Chris Wilder’s side, who have just two points almost halfway into the current league season, progressing to the fourth round thanks to a 3-2 victory at Bristol Rovers.
Jack Byrne, meanwhile, was not involved as Apoel ended their four-match losing streak under Mick McCarthy’s replacement as manager, Savvas Poursaitidis.
Despite having made his debut last week when he came on for five minutes in the last game of McCarthy’s brief reign, the Dubliner’s absence from the matchday squad for the win over Ermis Aradippou was no great surprise given that he had only joined last week after what for him had been a lay-off since the end of the season in Ireland.
Poursaitidis played for the club when they reached the quarter-finals of the Champions League almost a decade ago and had been managed a number of other Cypriot sides in recent seasons.