Brighton's Chris Hughton: Gaetan Bong boos still 'upsetting' to think about
Brighton manager Chris Hughton has told ESPN FC that great progress has been made in eradicating racism from football but stressed that incidents must "be stamped down on very hard."
His comments came after the Football Association said it was "unacceptable" that sections of the Burnley crowd booed Brighton defender Gaetan Bong at Turf Moor on Saturday.
Bong had accused former Burnley player Jay Rodriguez, who is now with West Bromwich Albion, of racially abusing him during a game in January.
Rodriguez denied what he described as a "false allegation" and requested a personal hearing, at which the FA ruled that the allegation was not proven.
Hughton, who hit out at the Burnley fans' reaction as "shameful" immediately after the game, said that although the climate in football had improved what happened had shown there was no room for complacency.
"It was quite upsetting at the time, I must admit, and still is," he told ESPN FC.
"But I think that, in general, racism in our game ... there are still going to be pockets.
"Those that have worked hard -- Kick it Out, Show Racism the Red Card and the authorities -- I think have done a great job over the years.
"If I look at the period when I played [1977-1993], the difference between then and now is incredible and you will have black players, young players, who have gone through nowhere near what we would have gone through.
"For those who have worked tirelessly to eradicate it, they have done a wonderful job.
"But it's always going to rear its ugly head and what we have to be able to do is, when there are incidences, is stamp down and stamp down very hard.
"That is the only way, but we are certainly in a better place now than we were in the past."
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