Wales

Wales fan reported over racist abuse against Ashley Williams

Wales team for last Tuesday's game Image copyright PA
Image caption Wales team with UEFA's #EqualGame hashtag promoting diversity and inclusion

A Wales football fan has been reported to the Football Association of Wales for shouting "despicable" racist abuse at captain Ashley Williams.

Ashley Drake said he confronted the man after the incident which took place on Tuesday during Wales' win over Ireland.

The charity Show Racism the Red Card in Wales said it was "disappointed" to hear the claim, but says it was "positive" Mr Drake had spoken out.

The Football Association of Wales (FAW) urged fans to report racist abuse.

Mr Drake, from Cardiff, who has followed the team for 34 years, said he gave a man "a mouthful" for shouting "despicable" abuse at Williams, but believes it was an isolated incident.

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales, he said: "It was so shocking because I haven't heard it for so long.

"If he thinks he's having a go because he doesn't think he's playing very well then that's his right to do so, but it started getting worse and worse... Then out of nowhere he suddenly entered this tirade by just shouting abuse at him because of the colour of his skin.

"My view is that if you hear it once then that's enough and you've got to stand up and challenge the person.

"I berated him and told him it was a disgrace, it was unforgivable and he should know better to do that and it was an appalling thing to do."

Image copyright AFP | Getty Images
Image caption Williams was praised for his role as captain by Ryan Giggs

Wales manager Ryan Giggs, who spoke last week of his regret about how he handled racism in his formative years, described Williams as "outstanding" for leading the young side to a 1-0 victory in Dublin.

Mr Drake reported the incident to the FAW on Thursday night.

"As soon as he'd gone some of the fans turned around and shook my hand and patted me on the shoulder, said that sort of thing need to be done, it was terrible," he added.

"But I did say to them at the time well why didn't anyone step in and back me up?"

Sunil Patel, from Show Racism the Red Card Wales, said he was "obviously very disappointed to see what has allegedly happened towards Ashley Williams".

He added: "It was a positive thing for fans to stand up and say this is not acceptable and single people out for these actions."

The anti-racism charity is holding its annual day of action on Friday to highlight the work it does and to raise money to fund its work in Wales.

The FAW has urged any fans who witnessed racist abuse to report it to stewards of the association itself.

A spokesman added: "The FAW will continue to work in partnership with Show Racism the Red Card to deliver educational workshops around the country throughout the season and beyond."

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