James McClean: Stoke condemn 'discriminatory' chants aimed at Republic of Ireland winger
Last Updated: 10/01/20 4:22pm
Stoke have condemned "discriminatory" chants aimed at James McClean and say all "perpetrators should be held accountable".
McClean has been the target of alleged abuse in recent Sky Bet Championship games at Huddersfield and Barnsley, with the latter charged by the Football Association in connection with allegations of sectarian abuse.
The FA said Barnsley failed to stop supporters from using "abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference, whether express or implied, to nationality and/or religion and/or beliefs" in the match on November 9, 2019.
In a statement on Stoke's official website, McClean said: "I appreciate the backing the club have given me since I joined in 2018 and it's reassuring to know that support remains."
The club added: "At recent fixtures opposition fans have sadly targeted James McClean with vile anti-social chanting leading to the FA issuing charges against one club.
"Stoke City wish to reiterate their continued support for James. We believe the chanting to be discriminatory and, like any other hate crime, there is no place for it in society and the perpetrators should be held accountable.
"As a club we have always supported James and will continue to do so. The club reminds all supporters that football is a game for all and that we should treat each other with respect and dignity.
"Discriminatory or abusive chanting of any kind is simply unacceptable."
Anti-discrimination body Kick It Out say they are "fully behind" Stoke's statement and urged fans to report any future abuse.
In a Twitter post, Kick it Out said: "The continued discriminatory abuse targeted at James McClean is absolutely
unacceptable and if you see it or hear it, report it to us or Stoke City."