Luqa St Andrew’s will be taking action against one of its players who hurled a xenophobic phrase to a Melita FC player during a post-match tussle over the weekend.
A fight broke out following the championship play-off bout between the two teams involving both players and coaches. The Melita player is a former Luqa squad member.
Following the incident, Melita claimed that one of its players “was subject to racist remarks”.
“Unfortunately, our society is still being faced with these disgusting issues,” it said in a statement. “We have full faith in the authorities who are investigating this incident and we are hopeful that this will lead to the right actions.”
However, Luqa has refuted these allegations, stating that it was Melita’s player who began the confrontation by physically assaulting one of its players.
“The incident occurred when an argument broke out after a Luqa player, ex-Melita, went to congratulate a former teammate. It was then when Melita’s British striker became aggressive, took off his shirt and punched another Luqa player in the face,” it said in a statement.
“The player retaliated by telling the striker to ‘go back to their country’, and both instances are stated in the official match report.”
While Luqa acknowledged wrongdoing by one of its players and said it will be taking action accordingly, it appealed to Melita to do the same and take action against the striker who started the incident.
“While we do not condone this language, and will be taking action against our player, we hope that Melita is willing to do the same. This whole situation could have been avoided by simply accepting defeat in a sporting manner,” it said.
The issue of xenophobia and racism has proven to be a perennial issue in local sporting communities, particularly football, where numerous incidents of racism have cropped up over the past few months.
Most notably, Birkirkara’s Paul Mbong and Maya Lucia were both victims of alleged racism, the former from another player and the latter from spectators.
Lovin Malta has reached out to the Malta Football Association for a comment but was unable to receive a reply by the time of publication.
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