Ross County chief executive Steven Ferguson has released a statement saying his club’s own investigations found that “no racist language” was used in a chant aimed at Dundee United midfielder Jeando Fuchs.
The Staggies were beaten 1-0 at Tannadice on Saturday with Ilmari Niskanen’s first half strike proving the difference between the sides.
Following United’s goal, midfielder Fuchs was seen to be in conversation with the home side’s bench, along with referee Don Robertson and fourth official Mike Roncone.
The Ross County statement criticised United manager Tam Courts for producing a ‘Show racism the red card’ T-shirt in front of the away supporters at full-time and described the criticism aimed at Ross County and the club’s support since the incident as “very distressing”.
Ferguson’s statement said: “Following the opening goal at Tannadice, Ross County club officials were alerted to a complaint made by Jeando Fuchs of Dundee United to the match officials in relation to alleged racist language being used from the area housing our supporters.
“The club instantly and proactively acted as we had a member of our safety team travelling with the squad, who is a highly experienced and former high-ranking police officer.
“During the end of the first half and for the vast majority of the second half our safety officer engaged with his Dundee United counterpart, Dundee United stewards and Ross County supporters as well as other representatives of both clubs where it was made clear to him from all parties, that no racist language had been used during a chant that was aimed at Jeando Fuchs.
“Dundee United stewards were extremely close to the area where the chant had come from and had confirmed that no racist language had been used, however swearing and foul language had been.
“At half-time the referee and his fellow officials also met with representatives of both clubs.”
The statement added: “We also feel the gesture from Dundee United manager Thomas Courts towards our supporters did not reflect responsible handling of the matter given that representatives of both clubs upon the full-time whistle had come to the conclusion that no racist language had been used.
“This could also have incited risk to Ross County supporters leaving the stadium after the game.
“As a football club we will always defend our club, our supporters and our people where we feel they are being misrepresented or have not being treated to the same standards that we show to visiting supporters.
“We understand that this is a hugely important societal issue, and we will continue to support the fight against racism, but in order to best do so we need to always ensure that there is accurate, clear and unquestionable evidence and facts to support racism complaints.
“We will always continue to investigate each and every issue to the best of our ability, as we did yesterday, to ensure that we best protect everybody effected within each scenario.
“We would also like to state that Jeando has the full compassion of everybody at Ross County as we were made aware of how distressed he has been from the chain of events.
“The criticism that has been levelled at our club, supporters and manager in the wake of yesterday’s alleged incident has been very distressing for us all.
“Our supporters have been targeted as ‘racists’ by individuals and by members of the media when the evidence has shown that was not the case.
“Our manager, during post-match press conferences, was asked about the incident and shared information that had been relayed to him after conversations between Ross County club officials and Dundee United’s security team, stewards and other parties.
“As a club we have shown strong support to Show Racism the Red Card over many years, and have tried to be at the forefront of sending out the anti-racism message and that racism is unacceptable in any environment.”
Ross County added they will continue to co-operate with Dundee United with their own investigation and would encourage the involvement of Police Scotland and the Scottish FA compliance officer “as a full and thorough investigation needs to be conducted.”