Millwall investigates alleged racism by own fans
English second-tier team Millwall said it is ''deeply shocked and appalled'' by television footage showing its supporters racially abusing striker El Hadji Diouf during a win over Leeds at The Den in November.
A Sky Sports News report showed footage of the former African footballer of the year being subjected to racist chants and taunts throughout the League Championship game. Obscenities aimed at Diouf and Millwall defender Danny Shittu were recorded and broadcast.
''Everyone at Millwall Football Club is deeply shocked and appalled by the footage,'' Millwall said in a statement, adding that it condemns the perpetrators. It has asked for the video evidence to be made available to the police.
''We will assist in identifying the individuals concerned with a view to the strongest possible action being taken,'' the club said.
The Football Association said Tuesday it was ''concerned'' by the footage and has opened an investigation.
''We will work with all the relevant authorities including the police,'' the FA said in a statement.
Millwall chief executive Andy Ambler urged police action to show ''that behavior is unacceptable in any football ground in the country and at Millwall we will ban the individuals for life.''
Bolton striker Marvin Sordell had previously reported being racially abused during a game against Millwall in October, and as a result a 13-year-old boy was banned from the south London club.
''There are two issues,'' Football League chairman Greg Clarke said. ''One is we have to continue to work with the clubs on our anti-racism programs which are agreed with the FA. Secondly is the reticence of black players to come forward and feel comfortable in supporting it.
''If we've created an environment that doesn't support black players in confronting this issue we've done something terribly wrong.''