Celtic Rugby have issued a statement confirming that the Newport Gwent Dragons’ claim that one of their players had been racially abused – during a Magners League match against Ulster on February 16 – has been satisfactorily dealt with “in a professional manner by both teams.”
Following a letter from the Newport Gwent Dragons to Ulster Rugby concerning perceived racial abuse made to one of their players, Ulster Rugby has now formally responded to the concerns raised by the Dragons.
In their response, Ulster Rugby has confirmed to both the Dragons and Celtic Rugby that they have thoroughly investigated this matter and have not been able to substantiate the claims made. Ulster Rugby acknowledges that there is no place whatsoever in our game for racial abuse or abuse of any kind and have taken the allegations made very seriously.
This has included reviewing all available television, video & CCTV footage, obtaining reports from the referee, conducting interviews with touch judges, event management staff and stewards, members of the Ulster Rugby Supporters Club, members of the Ulster match team and medical staff, and the Police Service NI Officer in charge of the venue.
Ulster Rugby has reported that these enquiries have not been able to substantiate the claims made.
Ulster Rugby has explained that their supporters do have chants that could be misheard. Ulster Rugby also advises that their stewarding levels are well above those recommended by the Green Guide and have confirmed to the Dragons that they will be increasing their stewarding levels further and will continue to work closely with their Supporters Club to ensure that Ravenhill is a venue that is only intimidating in the extent that it has one of the most vociferous supports in professional club rugby.
The Dragons have acknowledged and thanked Ulster Rugby for the seriousness in which they have viewed this matter and the efforts that Ulster Rugby has gone to in investigating the claims made. The Dragons have confirmed that, while standing by the claim of their player, that they are satisfied with Ulster Rugby’s response and that they now consider the matter closed.
As Newport Gwent Dragons has not made a formal approach to Celtic Rugby to intervene in this matter, and since the Dragons have confirmed to Celtic Rugby that they are satisfied with Ulster Rugby’s reply, Celtic Rugby considers that the matter has been satisfactorily dealt with by the clubs concerned.
The statement added that: “Celtic Rugby takes very seriously any allegation of racial abuse and abhors any form of discrimination.
“Celtic Rugby is grateful to both clubs for dealing with this issue in a professional manner and recognises the considerable effort that has been taken in investigating this matter.”