The FAI probes alleged racial abuse of Derry's Zayed

Eamon Zayed and Conor McCormack
Eamon Zayed battles with Conor McCormack in Monday's game in Tallaght

The Football Association of Ireland is to investigate claims that Derry City's Eamon Zayed was racially abused in Monday's game against Shamrock Rovers.

This followed reports that Libyan international Zayed was racially abused in last Friday's game against St Pat's.

Zayed has told players body the PFAI that he was abused by an opposition team member in the game against Rovers.

However, the Rovers player has denied the allegation and has sought the assistance of the PFAI.

The PFAI has been advised by its solicitor that as both players are members of the association and have conflicting recollection of the events in question, it would not be appropiate for it to represent either party.

Shamrock Rovers said earlier that the player concerned "categorically denied the allegation" and that they would co-operate fully with the FAI investigation.

Earlier, the FAI said it took instances of "racist abuse very seriously" and would investigate the issue.

"We will look for comments from the club and individuals allegedly involved," said Airtricity League director Fran Gavin.

Referee Richie Winter is understood to have mentioned the allegation in his report from Monday's game and the match delegate's report is also said to have referred to the issue.

The FAI Disciplinary Control Unit will investigate the allegations and will be requesting a response from Shamrock Rovers.

"There is a complete process to go through when allegations of this nature are made," added League director Gavin.

"We will look for comments from the club and individuals allegedly involved and will address the matter in a sensitive fashion.

"We've shown in the past that the league and the Association will act swiftly on these matters.

"All our clubs have supported our Show Racism the Red Card campaign for several years now in conjunction with the PFAI.

"Racism is something we will not tolerate in our game and thankfully it hasn't been a feature in our games. However, it is something we must always be mindful of."

Dublin-born Zayed played at underage level for the Republic of Ireland but is now a senior international with Libya.

He scored his 12th goal of the season in Monday's 1-1 Premier Division draw against Rovers.

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