Victor Obinna refutes West Ham racism claims
Wednesday 06 April 2011
West Ham forward Victor Obinna last night revealed none of his relatives were even in the country - let alone at Upton Park - on Saturday.
Reports emerged yesterday Obinna and Frederic Piquionne's families suffered racial abuse during the Hammers' 4-2 defeat by Manchester United, with guests of the two strikers allegedly involved in a confrontation with a small group of fans.
The reports prompted the club to launch an immediate investigation, but Nigeria international Obinna, 24, categorically denied claims of racism.
"Nothing happened - I do not have any of my family members in England," he told BBC Sport today.
"There is no point asking me to confirm or verify an incident that never happened - I was in total shock when I heard and read about it in the papers.
"I didn't have any of my relatives at the game and I do not know anyone who complained of any racial incident at the game."
Hammers co-chairman David Sullivan said on Monday he was "appalled" by reports the families were racially abused while sitting in a box in the Main Stand.
West Ham released an official statement denouncing the behaviour and promising a full investigation into the allegations, a move welcomed by football's equality and inclusion campaign, Kick It Out.
Kick It Out spokesman Danny Lynch said yesterday: "We've always advocated a zero tolerance approach to any form of discrimination in the game.
"This sort of thing gives the perception that it sets us back and I think it masks all the hard work clubs like West Ham do.
"We welcome West Ham's very proactive stance yesterday, with David Sullivan coming out saying he would investigate it and I think that is what we need.
"West Ham are a very community-focused club anyway and they have seen the incident as a blot on the rest of the supporters so there is no doubt they will take the action that needs to be done."
Latest in Sport
Radamel Falcao exclusive: Forward says joining Manchester United is a 'dream come true'
Arsenal transfer news: Ray Parlour urges Arsene Wenger to make late move for Edinson Cavani
WWE Raw preview: Will John Cena continue to defy the threat of Brock Lesnar?
Danny Welbeck to Arsenal: Arsene Wenger pictured in Rome as club close in on Manchester United striker for £17m
Danny Welbeck signs for Arsenal: Gunners confirm signing from Manchester United
- 1 Al Pacino on suffering from depression: 'It can last and it's terrifying'
- 2 Half of young women unable to ‘locate vagina’ and 65% find it difficult to say the word
- 3 Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb
- 4 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
- 5 Mexican woman becomes world’s 'oldest person' at 127
Rotherham child sex abuse scandal: Labour Home Office to be probed over what Tony Blair's government knew - and when
What do immigrants really think of Britain? Polish immigrant's Reddit post goes viral
Ashya King: Parents of five-year-old boy refused permission to visit him in hospital and denied bail at Spanish court
With Douglas Carswell joining Ukip, my party has taken another giant step forward
When elitism grips the top of British society to this extent, there is only one answer: abolish private schools
Ashya King: 'Cruel NHS has not given us the treatment we need', says father of five-year-old with brain tumour who fled to Spain