Two International U21 Friendlies Are Abandoned Due To Allegations Of Racist Abuse

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Two international games were postponed on Monday, June 19, including a friendly between the Republic of Ireland U21s and Kuwait U22s after claims of racial abuse.

The Football Association of Ireland said that Jim Crawford’s team’s 3-0 advantage during the second half of their play in Bad Radkersburg, Austria, forced an early end to the contest.

As a result of New Zealand’s refusal to play after an alleged racist comment went unpunished, the match against Qatar, which was also, ironically, played in Austria, was abandoned at halftime.

The FAI posted on Twitter: “The FAI regrets to announce that today’s U21 international against Kuwait has been abandoned after a racist remark was made by a Kuwaiti player towards one of our substitutes.

“The FAI does not tolerate any racism towards any of our players or staff and will be reporting this serious matter to FIFA and UEFA.”

In a statement posted later on Twitter, the Kuwait FA revealed Kuwait Olympic football team director Jarrah Al-Ateeqi said that the match “was not completed due to roughness and excessive tension between the players”.

The Kuwait FA said: “Al-Ateeqi explained that the match stopped at the 70th minute to protect the players from injuries, especially since the main goal of the match is friction and standing on the readiness of the players before the conclusion of their camp and return to the country.”

The governing body added that Al-Ateeqi “praised the discipline and commitment of the players throughout the camp”.

Ollie O’Neill and Conor Carty scored early goals for Ireland to take a 2-0 lead into halftime. Aidomo Emakhu, who was brought in as a halftime replacement, gave Ireland a two-goal lead after the restart.

The match on Monday came four days after they rallied to draw 2-2 with Ukraine Under-21s and marked the conclusion of a training camp in Austria meant to get them ready for September’s European Championship qualifiers against Turkey and San Marino.

New Zealand declined to enter the field for the second half of a friendly match against Qatar in Ritzing, Austria, since no action had been done over allegations of racism.

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