The Football Association has warned Stoke City winger James McClean for his use of an offensive word on social media while condemning the abuse he received from fans on Saturday over his decision not to wear a poppy.
McClean’s conduct was investigated by the FA after he described some Stoke supporters as “uneducated cavemen” in the wake of Saturday’s 0-0 draw with Middlesbrough, in which he was booed by a section of the Potters’ support for choosing not to wear a poppy and was later taunted by Boro fans as he left the pitch.
The Republic of Ireland international earlier criticised the decision to investigate him and accused the FA of turning a “blind eye” to sectarian abuse.
An FA statement read: “Stoke City’s James McClean has been warned by The FA for his use of an offensive word on social media. We are satisfied that the rest of the player’s postings do not breach FA Rules and, therefore, no further disciplinary action will be taken.
“The FA adds that any discriminatory language or behaviour aimed at any person or persons of nationality or faith, as we understand may have been experienced by the player in this case, is unacceptable.”
McClean earlier wrote on Instagram: “The FA are investigating me after Saturday’s event, for what exactly?
“Yet week in, week out for the past seven years I get constant sectarian abuse, death threats, objects being thrown, chanting which is heard loud and clear every week, which my family, wife and kids have to listen to. They turn a blind eye and not a single word or condemnation of any sort.”
McClean cited Neil Lennon’s situation in Scotland as further evidence that Irish Catholics are discriminated against in British football. The Hibernian manager was struck by a missile during last week’s Edinburgh derby against Hearts and was allegedly subjected to sectarian abuse.
He added: “If it was a person’s skin colour, anti-Muslim, or someone’s gender, there would be an uproar and it would be dealt with in a different manner but, like in Neil Lennon’s case in Scotland, because we are Irish Catholics, they turn a blind eye and nothing is ever said or done.”
McClean has long chosen not to wear the traditional symbol of Remembrance Sunday, saying in the past that it would be “a gesture of disrespect for the innocent people who lost their lives in the Troubles – and Bloody Sunday especially.”
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