Jack Simpson apologises for using a racial slur towards Cardiff team-mate Rohan Luthra on preseason tour in Portugal in July; Simpson left Cardiff in August despite having a year left on his deal; Simpson given a six-game ban and £8,000 fine; Luthra's father: 'Racism is unacceptable'
Tuesday 21 November 2023 21:19, UK
Jack Simpson has apologised for directing a racial slur towards his then Cardiff City team-mate Rohan Luthra.
Simpson was recently handed a six-game ban and an £8,000 fine by The Football Association [FA] after admitting the offence, which took place during Cardiff's pre-season tour of Portugal in July.
"I wish to apologise publicly and unreservedly for the racist remark I made to Rohan Luthra on July 23," said Simpson in a released statement.
"I have done so in private and it is important now, after the publication of The FA Commission decision into the matter, that I do so publicly to Rohan and to all those who are rightly hurt by the nature of my comment.
"I stand against racism in all forms and what was said on that day does not, I believe, reflect my beliefs or my character.
"I hope this message conveys how strongly I feel about my mistake and how I intend to own it, and emerge as a better person. I love the game and hope to play it again professionally. Jack Simpson."
The 26-year-old was found to have breached FA rule E3.1 by using "language towards a team-mate that was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper".
Furthermore, Simpson breached FA rule E3.2 by using language that "constitutes an aggravated breach as it included a reference - whether express or implied - to race and/or colour".
Simpson's Cardiff contract was due to run until the summer of 2024, but it was cancelled by "mutual agreement" on August 31. The defender remains a free agent.
Simpson joined the Welsh side from Rangers in 2022, while he began his career at Bournemouth.
Rohan Luthra, who has returned to Cardiff after a loan spell at Slough Town, became the first British South Asian ever to sign a Premier League contract as a goalkeeper at Crystal Palace back in 2020, and is the only goalkeeper from Britain's South Asian community ever to play in the Sky Bet Championship.
Sky Sports News has asked Cardiff for comment.
Norwich City defender Danny Batth, who is English football's most senior active professional player from a South Asian background, declined to comment when asked about the incident on Tuesday.
The Professional Footballers' Association and the English Football League have also been contacted for comment.
The six-match suspension handed to Simpson was at the lowest end of the six to 12-match sanction range available to the Independent Regulatory Commission.
Former FA National Game Board member Abu Nasir to Sky Sports News: "It's important that we acknowledge this apology, which is a step in the right direction.
"Rohan has demonstrated courage and bravery and should be applauded. His team-mates Ruben Colwill and Kieron Evans also deserve huge credit in particular for taking a stand with him and supporting him.
"This episode, however, is a worrying example of the current state of play facing British South Asians in Football - again underlining why we need a comprehensive plan of action to support and improve representation at the highest level."
Show Racism the Red Card Director of Operations Paul Kearns told Sky Sports News: "We commend Rohan Luthra for the strength that he has shown in bringing this case to the attention of the authorities.
"Rohan is one of the most high profile South Asian players in the professional game and as such is a role model for many young people. Bearing in mind that only the minimum ban has been issued in this instance, we sincerely hope that Rohan's experience does not deter other young South Asian boys and girls from wanting to pursue a career in football.
"Show Racism the Red Card welcome the programme of education that will accompany the sanction. Education is integral in the fight against racism."
For more stories, features and videos, visit our groundbreaking South Asians in Football page on skysports.com and South Asians in the Game blog and stay tuned to Sky Sports News and our Sky Sports digital platforms.