QPR youth side walk off after alleged racism
Queens Park Rangers have called on UEFA to take action after the club's under-18 side abandoned a game in Spain last week because of alleged abuse from opposition players.
During a friendly game against AD Nervion on their preseason tour of Seville, QPR players walked off the pitch during the second-half, alleging racist abuse.
AD Nervion president Manuel Fernandez Ortiz, who wasn't at the match but spoke with the club's sporting director, said the incident allegedly occurred when a QPR player spat at a Nervion player and the latter reacted with an alleged derogatory comment.
Fernandez Ortiz said that the club "will send a letter to the Royal Spanish Football Federation [RFEF] giving the necessary explanations as to what happened." He added that a meeting planned for the day after the match between the players involved was cancelled.
QPR released a statement which said their U18 side's actions were in line with protocol discussed during an equality and diversity session with anti-racism campaigners Kick It Out and came under the orders of coach Paul Furlong.
"We take a very strong stance against racism and will not tolerate one of our players being subjected to the despicable comments experienced," QPR CEO Lee Hoos said.
"I applaud Paul Furlong and his staff for reacting in such a manner and doing everything within their powers to protect the players. I am also very proud of our Under 18s who showed such maturity in the face of unacceptable provocation.
"We have made many great strides in tackling racism in football but sadly there is still a long way to go.
"Racism in football is a reflection of problems within society and what's incredible is that we were warned of similar alleged incidents that had taken place in the region before we played there.
"Should we have refused the fixture? Is that going to solve the problem or avoid it? Action must be taken at every level of our game, not just when it happens in front of the watching world. There is an opportunity here for UEFA to make a strong statement. I hope it is an opportunity they take."
An Andalusian Football Federation spokesman told ESPN FC that was not aware that this match was taking place as no authorised referee was requested. It added that it will investigate the incident.