‘Racism’ Row Over Fan’s Flag

Dan McMullan, Manchester Evening News (UK), Dec. 4, 2005

A war of words has broken out between soccer club bosses after a fan unfurled a St Georges flag with the words “Born in England Live in England Die in England.”

Brentford manager Martin Allen said he felt the words on the flag were racially offensive.

He spoke out after his side’s FA cup match against Oldham Athletic at Boundary Park. Two weeks ago the same flag was flown when Oldham played Brentford in a league match at Griffin Park and police ordered it be taken down.

The flag has now been banned from the ground while an investigation takes place.

Mr Allen explained the London club has a number of black players in the squad who took great offence at the message.

Complaint

He said: “Sadly, very sadly, that flag has racist undertones and we made a complaint about it then.

“Although it was removed it came back out again near the end of the game and nothing was done about it.

“It made it a difficult afternoon.

“If we see it again at our ground I will find the person responsible and burn it in front of him.

“There is no room for it in society or in football.”

Following its reappearance in Oldham he complained to club officials who promised to look into the situation.

But Oldham manager Ronnie Moore, said: “How can that be racist? Maybe if it was being flown at a match in Wales or Scotland it could be considered racist but I can’t see how that it is racist here—I don’t know what he’s going on about.

“We have foreign and black players on our team and none of them said anything or complained to me.”

A spokesman from the Commission for Racial Equality, said: “Flying the St Georges flag is not viewed as racist, but racism in football and racist comments directed against players and fans should not be tolerated.”

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