English Championship club Barnsley F.C. has been charged by the English Football Association (FA) over the alleged abuse by some supporters of James McClean.
Barnsley F.C. confirmed on Friday that it had been charged under FA Rule E20.
The charge relates to abuse reportedly levelled at Mr. McClean by some home supporters when his club Stoke City played an away fixture at Oakwell in November.
In a statement the South Yorkshire club said: “Barnsley Football Club has a zero tolerance policy on any form of discrimination.
“As a club, we are saddened to have had this charge brought against us.
“Since the incident was first reported, as a club, we have been thoroughly investigating and we will continue to do so.
“Anybody found to be involved in any form of abusive behaviour when representing Barnsley Football Club will be banned from attending matches.
“We will await and respect the outcome of the FA’s charge against us before communicating further on this matter.”
Barnsley F.C. has been given until Friday, January 10, 2020 to respond.
The FA said: “It is alleged that the club failed to ensure its spectators, and all persons purporting to be its supporters or followers, conducted themselves in an orderly fashion and refrained from using abusive and/or insulting words which included a reference, whether express or implied, to nationality and/or religion and/or beliefs, while attending an English Football League Championship fixture against Stoke City F.C. on Saturday, November 9, 2019.”
The announcement of the charge against Barnsley F.C. follows the revelation that another Yorkshire club, Huddersfield Town A.F.C., has launched an investigation over the alleged abuse of Mr. McClean during a match on New Year’s Day.
The festive clash between Stoke City and Huddersfield at the Kirklees Stadium was briefly halted by the referee after some home supporters directed anti-IRA chants at the Ireland midfielder.
Like Barnsley F.C. the club said such behaviour would not be tolerated. Hudderfield boss Danny Cowley said: “This is the year 2020 and there should be no place for sectarianism or racism in football. We condemn any such behaviour and the club will launch an investigation to find the people who did this.”
Mr. McClean, who has been plying his trade in England since 2011, previously complained of a culture of anti-Irish sectarianism among some football supporters across the water and a lack of action by the authorities.