FA to probe James McClean poppy row and Instagram post, with Stoke to conduct internal review

The FA has decided to open an investigation into James McClean’s Instagram post where he referred to Middlesbrough fans who abused him over his refusal to wear a Remembrance poppy as ‘uneducated cavemen’ and ‘c***s’.

They will also examine an incident at the end of Saturday’s 0-0 draw at the Bet365 Stadium which saw some supporters rush towards the tunnel to shout obscenities at the Ireland winger.

“They have nothing in their whole imperial arsenal that can break the spirit of one Irishman who doesn’t want to be broken.” Your abuse, your throwing things, your booing, do your worst.. to the home fans that are actually educated and support me, thank yous.. to the section of uneducated cavemen in left hand corner of the boothen end stand that want to song their anti irish song each game and call me a fenian this and that.. i am a PROUD FENIAN no c@#t will ever change that, so sing away ????

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A number of Stoke fans also targeted McClean.

Stoke’s head of safety’s report on the game has flagged up objects being thrown from the stands at the end of the fixture and the club will now launch an internal investigation.

They will also investigate any reports of racist or sectarian chanting.

Angela Smith, chairwoman of Stoke fans’ council, has already been asked to take up the issue with chief executive Tony Scholes.

She told the Stoke Sentinel: “I’ve already had two comments from supporters’ council members – and nearly 300 others from other fans – who want us to put it on the agenda for our next meeting and we will. We are democratic so we will see what the club say.

“My parents and my grandparents fought in wars to give people the right to have free speech. James McClean, like anyone, has every right to choose to or not to do what he likes; that’s what our forefathers fought for. If everyone is ordered to wear a poppy it loses any meaning.

“My personal view is that when you are in a situation like he was at the end of the match, from opposition and home fans, perhaps it would have been better if he hadn’t posted what he then did on social media to make sure he inflame did not the situation.

“I find it very difficult to condone people singing political songs at football but, again, it’s a democratic society. If people chant about racism or sectarianism that should not and will not be tolerated.”

McClean was born and brought up in city of Derry, in Northern Ireland. He grew up on Creggan estate, where six of the people killed on Bloody Sunday in 1972 came from.

Bloody Sunday was one of the most significant events of The Troubles conflict in the country, when British soldiers shot 28 unarmed civilians during a peaceful protest march.

McClean objects to wearing the poppy because the symbol commemorates military personnel who have died in war – and not just soldiers who lost their lives in the First and Second World Wars.

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