Footballer Rico Quitongo and Fraser Wishart, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association Scotland, comment after the player was unsuccessful in his race discrimination claim against his former club Airdrieonians and a club director.
Fraser Wishart, chief executive of the Professional Footballers’ Association Scotland, comments in light of the employment tribunal findings in the Rico Quitongo case against Airdrieonians.
“With a litany of racist incidents in Scottish football over the last few years, there a real danger that we’re heading back to the bad old days, and any movement in that direction must be stopped in its tracks.
Wishart added: The tribunal ruling in the Rico Quitongo case is bitterly disappointing for the player, his family and friends, as well as all those who have stood up to racism in Scottish football.
Decades after fans, players, and clubs, fought so bravely to kick racism out of our football grounds.
To begin with we need stricter enforcement of existing SFA rules on racism, with instant action a prerequisite.
It’s simply not good enough to have boardroom assurances and platitudes from football clubs that they will sort out this malignant abuse in their own way.
Any drift towards a return to 1980s style racism in our national game will not be tolerated by the players’ union who will challenge this in every possible way, for the good of the game.
The tribunal has delivered an extremely lengthy judgement that we will now take time to consider, before deciding on an appropriate course of action.”
Commenting on the findings of the Employment Appeal Tribunal, Rico Quitongo said:
“This judgement is a bitter blow for everyone who has stood up to racism in our national sport.
This entire episode has been an incredibly distressing, traumatic, and harrowing experience for my family and friends, as well as myself.
I have been inundated by a groundswell of support from football fans and players alike during this lengthy and arduous legal process. I am hugely grateful for this solidarity.
My trade union, the Professional Footballers Association (PFA) Scotland, and the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) have both shown the leadership and courage in supporting my legal claim.
I will now take time to consider the lengthy judgement in detail, while taking advice from PFA Scotland, the EHRC, and my legal team.”