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Friday, Sep 30, 2022

Racism row: Indian fans called ‘smelly p****’, ‘curry c***’ at Edgbaston during India-England Test

The Bharat Army, the official India supporters’ group, later reported that “many” of its members at the ground had been targeted by 'a very small minority.'

General view of spectators in fancy dress during play. (Reuters)

The fifth Test between England and India has been hit by racism. A section of Indian cricket fans were racially abused towards the end of Day 4 of the ongoing Test match at Edgbaston.

A number of allegations were made on social media on Monday evening following the close of play. An investigation is underway into allegations of racist abuse among the crowd on day four of the fifth Test between England and India at Edgbaston.

The allegations were highlighted by Yorkshire cricketer Azeem Rafiq, who said it was “disappointing to read”, and flagged several of the allegations via retweets on his Twitter account. His testimony in front of a parliamentary select committee last year sparked an investigation into his claims of institutional racism at Yorkshire which resulted in ECB charges and ultimately major reforms.

One of the Tweets that Rafiq retweeted read: “Racist behaviour at @Edgbaston towards Indian fans in block 22 Eric Hollies. People calling us Curry C**ts and paki bas****s. We reported it to the stewards and showed them the culprits at least 10 times but no response and all we were told is to sit in our seats. @ECB_cricket”

A reply from the official Edgbaston Twitter account in response to Rafiq said: “We’re incredibly sorry to read this and do not condone this behaviour in anyway. We’ll be investigating this ASAP.”

One Indian fan, Kuhsal Malde tweeted that he has been called ‘smelly pakis’ by an English fan. He wrote on Twitter: “I’am all for some good banter between fans but today was some of the worst abuse we’ve ever experienced at a match. Some disgusting racisim (“you smelly p*** for example). The stewards actually told the Indian fans to sit down whilst allowing the abuse to go ahead.”

Tweet of Indian cricket fan Kushal Malde. (Screengrab)

Stuart Cain, Chief Executive at Edgbaston, said: “I’m gutted by these reports as we’re working hard to make Edgbaston a safe, welcoming environment for all.

“Having seen the initial tweets, I’ve spoken personally to the gentleman who raised them and we’re now speaking to the stewards in this area to establish what happened.

“Nobody should be subject to any form of abuse at Edgbaston. So, once we’ve got all the facts, we will make sure this issue is addressed swiftly.”

The Bharat Army, the official India supporters’ group, later reported that “many” of its members at the ground had been targeted by “a very small minority”.

A post on its Twitter account read: “Sad to say many of our members experienced racist abuse from a very small minority of individuals. We will work with @Edgbaston to share all your feedback.

“Thank you to those England fans who stood by us.”

The England and Wales Cricket Board said it was “very concerned” at the reports and reiterated its stance on racism.

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“We are very concerned to hear reports of racist abuse at today’s Test match. We are in contact with colleagues at Edgbaston, who will investigate,” read an ECB statement.

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“There is no place for racism in cricket.”

First published on: 05-07-2022 at 08:21:56 am
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