Brighton defender Gaetan Bong was chanted at and booed by Burnley fans during the Seagulls’ trip to Turf Moor on Saturday, following the Cameroon international’s racism row with former Clarets star Jay Rodriguez.
The Mirror report a fellow Burnley supporter has branded the guilty Clarets fans as ‘disgraceful’ and ‘disgusting’, for their abuse of Bong, who accused Rodriguez of making a racist comment towards him in a clash between Brighton and, Rodriguez’s new side, West Brom in January.
The Brighton defender claimed that Rodriguez had said “you’re black and you stink”, but the former Claret insists that all he said was “your breath stinks”.
Bong issued a complaint, but a recent inquiry into the incident could not prove what was said, and no action was taken on Rodriguez, who strongly denies any allegations of the use of racist language.
Burnley fans referred to this incident, during Saturday’s clash, as they continuously chanted abuse at the Brighton defender. But after the game a fellow Clarets fan took to Twitter to express their disappointment over the treatment of the Cameroon star.
They wrote: “Can’t deny it – fans disgraceful today, failing to grasp reality of where European tour meets booing a foreigner.
“At one point, the chant said Bong had smelly breath. Disgusting. Not banter, not fun, not funny.”
Kick It Out also released a statement: “Kick It Out is concerned at reports that Gaetan Bong was booed on Saturday for raising an alleged incident of racism with The Football Association.
“Kick It Out believes all allegations of discrimination must follow a fair and transparent process for all parties involved and the organisation accepts the ‘not proven’ ruling made by The FA, due to insufficient evidence.
“However, it is important to acknowledge that an allegation found ‘not proven’ does not mean that the complainant has lied or acted in bad faith.
“Kick It Out fully supports the decision by Gaetan Bong to report the alleged incident and encourages any player who believes they have been the target of discriminatory abuse to do the same.”
And Brighton boss Chris Hughton was equally shocked by the incident. He said: “I would have to say that I thought the reaction of the Burnley supporters towards Gaetan every time he got the ball was shameful, I really do.
“What they should do, the Burnley supporters, they should look at the two statements that came out afterwards – one from the independent committee and one from the FA. But I thought the reaction to Gaetan Bong was shameful.”
The Brighton manager continued: “He’s an incredibly disciplined and straight individual – as honest a person as you will meet. It’s something that happened, it’s not nice at all and of course he’s big enough and strong enough to cope with it. As showed by his performance.