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Kilmarnock’s Josh Magennis complains of ‘anti-Irish’ abuse at Hearts game

KILMARNOCK, SCOTLAND - AUGUST 12: Josh Magennis of Kilmarnock in action during the Scottish premiership match between Kilmarnock and Celtic at Rugby Park on August 12, 2015 in Kilmarnock, Scotland.  (Photo by Jeff Holmes/Getty Images)
Josh Magennis of Kilmarnock (Photo: Getty Images)

POLICE in Edinburgh are appealing for witnesses after racially aggravated abuse was reported at a game between Kilmarnock and Hearts at Tynecastle Stadium.

Kilmarnock and Northern Ireland striker Josh Magennis, 25, is understood to have made the complaint, alleging he was racially abused from an area where Hearts fans were gathered.

The incident occurred at around 4.40pm on Saturday, February 27 during the Scottish Premiership fixture.

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Following the game, Hearts released a statement:

The Kilmarnock player alleges that an abusive comment was made relating to his nationality by an individual seated within the home end at Tynecastle.

The alleged abusive remark related to the player being Irish. The player is from Northern Ireland. To clarify, this allegation does not involve the player’s colour, religion or sexuality…

Heart of Midlothian FC has a number of players of different nationality playing in the current squad and is very proud of the international make up of our team.

We will fully support any police investigation into reports of abuse such as the one which has been reported today.

Police confirmed that a man, believed to be seated in Lower Section E of the Wheatfield Stand, directed racial abuse towards a Kilmarnock player.

The suspect is described as white, with a stocky build, in his mid 40s, with dark hair that is receding on top.

He was wearing dark glasses and a dark jacket that possibly had red lining.

PC Gavin Stupart of Wester Hailes said: “Racial abuse is absolutely unacceptable, in any circumstances.

“The behaviour of the majority of fans at Tynecastle on Saturday was excellent and I want to thank both clubs for their cooperation.

“We’re conducting various enquiries in an effort to trace the perpetrator and I’d ask any witnesses to this abuse, or anyone who recognises the description of the suspect, to come forward.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Police Scotland on 101 or make an anonymous report through the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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