Liverpool defender Rhys Williams, who is currently spending the season on loan in the Championship with Swansea City, was subjected to racial abuse from a home fan during Swansea’s 3-3 draw at Luton Town yesterday.
The details of the incident are minimal, but both Swansea and Luton have released statements condemning the abuse and saying they are cooperating with the authorities to identify the person responsible.
Towards the end of today’s Championship fixture against Luton Town at Kenilworth Road, an allegation of racial abuse was made over comments made towards Swansea City’s Rhys Williams from a home spectator.
An official report was filed with the match official, Tony Harrington, and Bedfordshire Police at full-time.
Swansea City condemns racism and abuse of all kinds because it has no place within football or any walk of life.
The club would like to place on record its thanks to both Bedfordshire Police and Luton Town Football Club for their swift response at the end of the game.
Bedfordshire Police has launched a full investigation into the incident. Officers have been to the ground to carry out enquiries and are working with Luton Town to identify the people involved.
Rhys has the full backing of everyone at the football club and we are in dialogue with his parent club Liverpool with regards to ensuring the player has all the support he needs.
Swansea City will continue to work with the relevant authorities on this matter.
Luton’s statement is largely the same as Swansea’s, but they do make it clear that if the person who directed the abuse at Williams is identified, they will not be allowed back at Kenilworth Road.
It’s yet another disgusting example of the toxicity of certain small elements of football fans. It’s also a sobering reminder that while the players and clubs in England are making progress towards stamping out racism and other forms of discrimination in English football, there is still work to be done.
Our thoughts and support are with Rhys Williams as he deals with something that no person should ever be subjected to. YNWA Rhys