Ross County say the club and supporters have been “fully exonerated” after an investigation found no racist language was used by a fan at their recent Premiership fixture against Dundee United.
The investigation was prompted after United midfielder Jeando Fuchs indicated to referee Don Robertson, as well as his own bench, that he heard racial abuse from the away end during the October 2 encounter at Tannadice.
At full-time, United boss Tam Courts held up a “Show Racism the Red Card T-shirt” towards the Staggies section of the ground to highlight his support for Fuchs.
County claimed no racial remark had been made by their supporters, having spoken to stewards near the incident who said a swear word was instead used.
United last week submitted evidence to Police Scotland and the SPFL, which they claimed corroborated Fuchs’ allegation.
County say they have now received confirmation from the authorities that no racist language was used, with Staggies chief executive Steven Ferguson considering the matter now closed.
County chief draws line under issue
County chief executive Steven Ferguson said: “An extensive investigation has been concluded by all parties around the events of our match at Tannadice on 2nd October 2021, where there was a suggestion of racist language being used by a Ross County supporter.
“We have received confirmation from the authorities that there was no evidence of racist language being used. We now feel that Ross County and our supporters have been fully exonerated, and we can draw conclusion on this matter.
Club statement from Chief Executive Steven Ferguson following the investigation in to events at our match on 2nd October with Dundee United at Tannadice.
— Ross County FC (@RossCounty) October 14, 2021
“Given the nature of the allegation, it was centrally important that a comprehensive and thorough investigation was carried out by the relevant authorities, as Ross County FC sets very high standards in responsibly handling all concerns of hate crime.
“We would like to re-iterate that any form of hate crime, including racism, has no place in society and must never be accepted in Scottish football.
A” large amount of clear and precise evidence from a significant number of witnesses and sources within the Ross County support and from personnel outwith our club was reviewed by various parties including Police Scotland.
“A report was then submitted to the SPFL and Scottish FA for their consideration. It was made clear from this evidence that absolutely no racist language had been used. The individual who had chanted also came forward during the investigation.
“His statement was corroborated by sources outwith Ross County that were in attendance.”
Image affected by the allegations
Ferguson also felt that the club’s image has taken a hit since the fall-out from the allegations.
He added: “I would like to repeat from my initial statement that our club, staff and supporters are extremely disappointed in how we have been portrayed since the match in certain quarters, which has had a negative impact on our public perception.
“In responding to these allegations, I personally would like to thank our supporter liaison officer and our fans for the composed and responsible manner in which they have conducted themselves since the match and for the collective response and co-operation we have received.
“I would like to thank the other independent sources and personnel outside of Ross County who contributed to the thorough investigation which has been conducted.
“This has been a challenging time for everybody, we appreciate the need for clubs and officials to support their players. We also feel it is imperative that lessons are learned to ensure that agreed protocols of investigation are carried out going forward. We now consider this matter as closed.”