Racist abuse from the terraces directed at a teenage player with a youth football club in Bishopbriggs during their last match of 2019 has been condemned.
Mati Zata (19), on loan to Rossvale Juniors FC, was subjected to the offensive chants during the home game against Rutherglen Glencairn on Saturday, December 28.
The talented young footballer was targeted by a rival fan, according to a Rossvale supporter, after he set up the first goal for the home team.
The supporter told the Herald: “I hope you can report this to help catch the person responsible and to highlight this issue affecting football and an innocent young player just trying to enjoy his football”.
Rossvale Juniors FC tweeted after the match; ““We were informed of an incident at half-time today by the match official regarding racist abuse aimed at one of our players by a visiting supporter at New Tinto Park.
“Unfortunately this disgusting abuse continued into the 2nd half. We are working closely with Glencairn to establish if indeed the person involved was a Glencairn supporter or a neutral.
“As a club Rossvale Juniors are totally against all acts of racism and we will work closely with all parties and authorities to stamp out this disgusting behaviour”.
The behaviour was condemned by fans with one posting in response: “Disgusting. Who think this is even remotely acceptable?”
In a statement on their Twitter feed on Friday, January 3, Rutherglen Glencairn FC posted: “During and after the final match of 2019 away to Rossvale, the club was made aware by the match referee and one of the assistant referees that racist shouts had been heard from the terracing on two separate occasions during the match towards one of the Rossvale players.
“This caused the match to be stopped while the referee advised both technical areas, and the incidents were reported to the SJFA West Region.
“Rutherglen Glencairn Football Club regards these shouts as reprehensible and repulsive. We are a club which is open to all regardless of race, ethnicity, religious beliefs or sexual orientiation.
“We have been unable to establish any firm evidence as to the identity of the perpretator of these shouts.
“However, from the video of the second half incident where the match was stopped, which clearly shows the terracing area, we have an indication of the area of the stadium where the assistant referee reported that the shouts came from.
We have assured the SJFA West Region that, as a club, we will be closely monitoring this situation, and that, immediate action will be taken if there is any repeat of this behaviour”.
A supporter responded: “I feel for any club in this situation, there really isn’t much you can do about one idiot.
“I would imagine if he is a regular. I hope the people standing with him have had a word.
“As I immediately pointed out, fair play to your gaffer (Rutherglen) who made a point of going to speak to young Mati.”