Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Sport: Football
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Rugby League 
Rugby Union 
Formula 1 
Talking Point 
In Depth 

Anti-racism campaign co-ordinator Piara Power
"He should be subjected to some disciplinary commission"
 real 28k

Friday, 10 December, 1999, 19:28 GMT
Amoruso in race comment about-turn

Ibrox The Ibrox captain has apologised for his remarks

What do you think? Are racist comments acceptable in what Lorenzo Amoruso said was "a highly-charged football match" and is his apology enough? Or were his actions totally unjustifiable? E-mail us your views. Read your views here

Rangers captain Lorenzo Amoruso has admitted making racist comments to Borussia Dortmund's Nigerian player Victor Ipkeba.

In a dramatic about-turn, the Italian player said he apologised but insisted he was not a racist.

I would like to make it clear that I am not a racist and deeply regret any upset I have unwittingly caused to the player or anyone else
Lorenzo Amoruso
The row blew up after Rangers' defeat in the Uefa Cup match on Tuesday when Amoruso was seen mouthing abuse at Ipkeba.

The Ibrox defender denied making racist remarks and said: "When I swear on a football pitch, I never do it in English because I know I could get into trouble with referees."

But he changed his story after watching a video of the match.

Statement from Ibrox

In a statement released on Thursday, he said: "During the game against Borussia Dortmund I was involved in an incident with Victor Ikpeba and words were exchanged between the two of us.

Racism picture Campaigners want an inquiry
"However, in a highly charged football match it is not unusual for tempers to boil over and I do not remember making the remarks attributed to me.

"This morning I viewed the video recording of the game and, on this evidence, I cannot dispute the fact that I made the remarks.

"I would like to make an unreserved apology to Victor Ikpeba for these comments.

"I would like to make it clear that I am not a racist and deeply regret any upset I have unwittingly caused to the player or anyone else."

Club silent on punishment

Rangers refused to say whether they would discipline their skipper.

Director-secretary Campbell Ogilvie said: "We discussed the incident at length and it is accepted that the player did not recollect having made these comments.

He very much regrets his actions which took place in the heat of the moment
Campbell Ogilvie
"However, on viewing the video recording of the match, the player admits the comments attributed to him were made.

"Lorenzo is not a racist and obviously he very much regrets his actions which took place in the heat of the moment.

"This was certainly a case of the player making remarks at a tense point in the match and deeply regretting his actions afterwards.

"Rangers do not condone his comments and as a club we are involved in several anti-racism initiatives."

Football 'passionate game'

Before the statement was released, Rangers manager Dick Advocaat said of Amoruso: "What we have to remember though is that football is a passionate game."

The anti-racism group Kick It Out, which Amoruso has helped to promote, believes both Uefa and the Scottish Football Association have a duty to examine the video.

Amaruso and cup Amaruso has enjoyed success at Rangers
"Once information like this is in the public domain it needs to be looked at," said spokeswoman Piaoa Powar.

"Rangers are not just representing Scottish football, they are representing Scotland and this incident needs to be investigated."

But after receiving the referee's match report, Uefa has said it is unlikely to look at the pictures.

A spokeswoman said: "There is no mention of this incident either in his report or that of the delegate.

"As no-one has made a complaint to us about this matter there is no evidence to suggest we need to look at video footage."

The SFA would only become involved if asked to by Uefa and spokesman Andy Mitchell said: "This was not our match. It was a Uefa Cup match and we have no jurisdiction over a Uefa Cup match."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console
Football Contents


See also:
08 Dec 99 |  Football
Ikpeba has 'no problems' with Amoruso
08 Mar 99 |  Football
Anti-racism drive increased
25 Nov 98 |  Football
UEFA rejects racist chants protest
06 Dec 99 |  Football
Rangers grateful for Borussia lead
25 Nov 99 |  Football
Rangers defeat German giants

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Football stories are at the foot of the page.