The Malta Independent 15 April 2021, Thursday

Updated: Melita say player subjected to racist abuse; Luqa FC say player punched their player first

Monday, 8 March 2021, 14:42 Last update: about 2 months ago

A Melita FC player was subjected to racist abuse after the conclusion of a key title match over the weekend, the club said in a statement on Monday. 

A statement issued by Luqa St. Andrew's - the other club involved in the matter - however states that the remark - constituting the phrase 'go back to your country' - was only said after the Melita player punched a Luqa player after the match.

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Melita faced Luqa St. Andrew’s in the title match for the National Amateur League – a match which Luqa won 2-1, allowing them to claim the National Amateur League crown, having also seen off Mgarr United in the triangular round robin competition to decide the league’s final winner.

The match however, claimed Melita, was marred by an episode after the final whistle where one of the club’s players was subjected to racist remarks.

It is absurd and surreal that in today's day and age a person can still be subject to racist remarks”, the club said in a statement.

In last Saturday’s playoff encounter, one of our players was subjected to racist remarks. Unfortunately, our society is still being faced with these disgusting issues. It is also surreal for our club to have to issue such a statement, but we will continue to stand for what is right and just”, they said.

The club said that they have full faith in the authorities who are investigating the incident and are hopeful that this will lead to the right actions.

They congratulated Luqa, stating that they had won the title on the pitch and that their statement is only with regards to matters which took place after the match had already ended.

𝗖𝗹𝘂𝗯 𝗦𝘁𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 📄 Melita FC does not tolerate any form of racism! It is absurd and surreal that in today's day and age a...

Posted by Melita F.C. on Monday, March 8, 2021

In a statement in reaction, Luqa said that "the incident occurred when an argument broke out after a Luqa player, ex-Melita, went to congratulate a former team mate. It was then when Melita FC’s British striker got aggressive, took off his shirt and punched another Luqa player in the face. The player retaliated by telling the striker to “go back to their country”, and both instances are stated in the official match report."

"While we do not condone this language, and will be taking action against our player, we hope that Melita FC are willing to do the same. This whole situation could have been avoided by simply accepting defeat in a sporting manner", Luqa said.

"Whilst we thank Melita FC for their congratulations with regards to us being crowned Champions, actions do speak louder than words, and we would have appreciated the gesture even more if their actions reflected such words. Attempting to tarnish our reputation by publishing half-stories is even more evident of their refusal to accept the result", the club concluded.

Statement in reponse to the allegations put forward by Melita F.C. Our club has always held the values of unity and...

Posted by LUQA SA FC on Monday, March 8, 2021
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