Scarlets launch investigation after fans accused of making racist monkey chants towards La Rochelle players

Sections of the Scarlets support have reported hearing ‘monkey chants’ and ‘very offensive racist words’ during the 29-17 victory over La Rochelle on Friday night

Jack de Menezes
Tuesday 03 April 2018 11:15
comments
Scarlets have announced that an investigation is taking place after reports of racial abuse
Scarlets have announced that an investigation is taking place after reports of racial abuse

Scarlets have launched an investigation into claims that supporters used racially abusive chants towards La Rochelle players during Friday’s European Champions Cup clash as well as allegations of unacceptable behaviour.

The reigning Pro12 champions reached the last four of the Champions Cup with a 29-17 victory over the Top 14 outfit, booking themselves a semi-final trip to the Aviva Stadium against tournament favourites Leinster.

But the fallout from what should have been one of the regions great victories has seen allegations of racial abuse and misbehaviour made from Scarlets supporters about other home fans, and the club have issued a statement to confirm that they are looking into the claims – made online – as they are “completely unacceptable”.

“An investigation will be undertaken to understand the full facts and background of the incident before commenting further,” a Scarlets statement read.

“We have a proud history of being a family club and events such as this are completely unacceptable.”

Claims on Twitter that tagged the Scarlets’ official account accused a group of drunk supporters of making ”monkey chants” towards members of the La Rochelle team, with others alleging that there were “lots of very offensive racists words”.

La Rochelle players were allegedly targeted with monkey chants, according to fans inside the stadium

The victory saw a record crowd turnout for a Scarlets home match at the Parc y Scarlets, and the club were also keen to stress that the disorder was contained to small sections of the support.

The statement added: “The vast majority of the 15,500 sell-out crowd at Parc y Scarlets for the European Rugby Champions Cup quarter-final enjoyed a wonderful family-friendly occasion.”

EPCR is working with Scarlets in order to establish the facts of the case reported from Friday's quarter-final

European Professional Club Rugby

Tournament organisers European Professional Club Rugby [EPCR] said that they are aware of the allegations and will work with the Scarlets to carry out the investigation. A spokesman said: “EPCR is working with Scarlets in order to establish the facts of the case reported from Friday’s quarter-final and won’t be making any further comment at this stage.”

The result saw Scarlets through to their first European Cup semi-final since 2007 – where they were knocked out by Leicester Tigers – and is a rematch of last season’s Pro12 semi-final in which Wayne Pivac’s side beat Leinster at the Aviva Stadium before going on to lift the title.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

View comments