Anti-discrimination campaigners Kick It Out have slammed UEFA’s decision to take no action over racism claims made by Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster.
UEFA have announced no action will be taken after the 17-year-old said he was racially abused by Spartak Moscow captain Leonid Mironov in a UEFA Youth League game last December.
Kick it Out said: “The organisation is deeply disappointed with the findings of the independent investigation, with this outcome likely to give further encouragement to those who wish to be abusive in the sport.
“Kick It Out believes there are issues with clubs, such as Spartak Moscow, who have been involved in several alleged racist incidents in recent years, receiving little or no discouragement by national and international football authorities in response to allegations of racism and discrimination.”
Mironov admitted swearing at the England U-18 international but denied the racism allegations, and UEFA concluded its lengthy investigation by announcing there was no evidence to support Brewster’s claim, while acknowledging it was made in good faith.
Liverpool responded to the decision by praising the young forward’s character during the investigation.
A club spokesman said: “Liverpool Football Club acknowledges UEFA’s findings and accepts that their decision, announced today, concludes the matter, as pertains to this specific case.
“We would like to place on record our admiration for the courage shown by Rhian Brewster throughout this process and commend his exemplary conduct.
“The club is very proud of the maturity, dignity and leadership Rhian has displayed in bringing focus to this issue and he will continue to receive our full support.”
In an interview with The Guardian a few weeks after the incident Brewster spoke out for the first time publicly about the racial abuse he has faced throughout his fledgling career and urged the authorities to take stronger action.
The striker is expected to be back in action for pre-season after undergoing surgery to repair ligaments in his right ankle in January.
By Nick Ware