Ghana's No. 1

Blues keeper Etheridge proud of anti-racist stance

Published on: 01 February 2023

Birmingham City keeper Neil Etheridge reported the incident to match referee Keith Stroud alongside Blues team-mate Dion Sanderson at Ewood Park

Birmingham City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge says he is proud of his anti-racist stance in Saturday's FA Cup fourth-round tie with Blackburn Rovers.

Etheridge reported racial abuse from fans after Blues forced a replay with a late equaliser at Ewood Park.

It was investigated by both clubs and the match officials, while Lancashire Police put out a statement on Monday asking for mobile phone footage.

"Racism and all forms of discrimination should not be tolerated," he said.

Speaking on Twitter after Blues lost 1-0 in Tuesday night's replay, Philippines international Etheridge added: "Extremely disappointed with the outcome of yesterday's game. Gutted to be out of the FA Cup.

"I know that one individual does not speak for an entire fanbase or everyone in society. I am proud of what I did to bring to light, once again, an ongoing problem that we all have a responsibility to tackle head on.

"We cannot eradicate it overnight but, if we can all keep doing our bit to educate those out there, I hope and pray that my child, and our children, can grow up in a better world."

'We didn't deserve to lose'

Blues boss John Eustace was the first to condemn the reported abuse on Saturday, saying: "There is no room at all in society, let alone football, for that.".

Eustace was also disappointed to see Blues lose for the sixth time in eight games since Christmas, their only win being the 2-1 delayed third round win at Forest Green - especially as it was such a cruel extra time own goal from on-loan Auston Trusty.

"It was hard luck for Trusty, who just got his knee to the cross," Eustace told BBC Radio WM.

"But he's a cracking lad, who's been a great servant to the club so far.

"We didn't deserve to lose. And, if we keep performing like, we'll win more than we lose.

"You can see we're getting our rhythm back, but we didn't take the chances we created. We need to be more clinical in the final third.

"But it was the first time for a while we've had a clean sheet in 90 minutes and we were only beaten by an unfortunate own goal."


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