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Police investigate claims of racist abuse against Santa Luċija keeper

Police are investigating claims a goalkeeper was racially abused as he made his debut during a Premier League match.

Eyewitnesses say a group of Floriana fans shoulted insults at Santa Luċija keeper Julani Archibald at the Tony Bezzina Stadium, in Paola on Saturday.

One in particular was heard shouting a racist slur.

Police told Times of Malta investigations are ongoing to identify the alleged people involved. 

The player said on Facebook that he was proud to be black and sad that racism still exists in football.

Angelo Chetcuti, General Secretary of the MFA, told Times of Malta that the organisation was considering measures including empowering referees to stop a game and order fans to leave a match if racist abuse persists.

Santa Luċija FC said the club stood “shoulder to shoulder” with Archibald and called for the MFA to take “strong, effective and urgent action” against those responsible.

Floriana FC distanced themselves from the action of a section of their supporters and urged authorities to take action.

“The club will offer no protection to this unacceptable behaviour by one person who purchased online tickets to enter the Floriana stands,” it said.

The match ended in a 2-2 draw.

This is not the first time racism has come up in Maltese football.

Last year, Rashed Al-Tumi also faced abuse by San Gwann Youth Nursery official Manuel Pisani, when he said black people should be sent to Africa.

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