AIRDRIEONIANS have completed an internal investigation into allegations made by their player Rico Quitongo that he was racially abused at a match, with the League One club concluding that there was “insufficient evidence to take further action”.
In a statement released via the club’s website, the Lanarkshire outfit insisted that although a “thorough investigation” has taken place, “on the basis that we have no more than one witness, to one alleged unidentifiable and indistinguishable perpetrator, we have now exhausted all possible options”.
“It has been an important process for all concerned to ensure that if a supporter of Airdrieonians FC did make this alleged remark, that it be dealt with by the relevant authorities,” the club added.
Airdrieonians FC has conducted a thorough investigation into the alleged racist remark towards our player Rico Quitongo and have concluded that there is insufficient evidence to take further action. https://t.co/VGjpE8g7Ys pic.twitter.com/aEAyE7R4XU
— Airdrieonians FC (@AirdrieoniansFC) October 12, 2021
“It was also important to ensure that our club and supporters as a whole, were not unfairly accused of using racist language. We believe that this process has been a vindication.
“Everyone involved at Airdrieonians will continue to be vigilant and work together to ensure that all forms of abuse towards our professional football players and management is eradicated as there is simply no place for this at our club.”
Quitongo released a statement on Twitter last month where he claimed he was racially abused by a member of the Diamonds support during the team’s goalless draw with Queen’s Park at Firhill on 11 September.
The 22-year-old branded the fan ‘cowardly’ in his social media post and conceded at the time that “you can’t always catch the idiots that make these remarks, which upsets me”.
The statement read: “Can’t believe I’m actually writing this but here goes … Saturday at my football game away to Queen’s Park I was subjected to racial abuse by one of my own Airdrie supporters.
“Now as I’m not surprised with this still in football I am more hugely disappointed to hear it from where a section where my family would normally be sitting.
“Thankfully, my family weren’t there but it makes no difference, it shouldn’t be in football and I absolutely don’t deserve to be personally abused for my skin colour.
— rico quitongo (@15ricoquitongo) September 14, 2021
“I’m all for banter with fans etc, but I will not tolerate it whatsoever. I am proud to be black and proud to be who I am. I may not be the best footballer for fans, but I shouldn’t be singled out – period.
“The club have a pending investigation and are supporting me as much as they can, but you can’t always catch these idiots that make these remarks, which upsets me.
“This is not a cry for sympathy, as it’s the last thing I’d want, but more needs to done for cowards to change.”