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Sunday, 9 April, 2000, 11:31 GMT 12:31 UK
Everton sorry for Izzet abuse

Izzet set up Everton's goal in the game
Everton and their supporters have apologised for the anti-Turkish abuse aimed at Leicester's Muzzy Izzet during Saturday's 1-1 draw at Filbert Street.

The London-born midfielder with a Turkish father, has decided to play for the country in the European Championships.

Some Everton fans booed and abused him following the deaths of two Leeds United fans in Istanbul in the build-up to the Uefa Cup semi-final with Galatasaray.



Every club has it's morons, and I want people to realise that there were many fans at Leicester who were telling the idiots to shut up and grow up

Ian McDonald, Everon independent supporters
Everton issued a statement condemning their own fans within hours of the final whistle.

Chairman Sir Phillip Carter expressed his disgust, and there was also a promise of a written apology to Izzet and Leicester.

Meanwhile Ian McDonald, chairman of Everton's independent supporters association, blamed "morons" amongst the Merseyside club's support for the abuse.

"I can assure you that Everton will be writing to Muzzy Izzet to apologise and also to Leicester's chairman to apologise on behalf of our fans," said club spokesman Alan Myers.



Muzzy has done fantastically well as a player and just because he has chosen to play for Turkey he gets this

Stan Collymore
"It wasn't an awful lot of our fans, but that doesn't matter whether it was one or a thousand. It shouldn't happen.

"We work very, very hard at Everton to stamp out any sort of racism and this sort of thing doesn't help the club."

Izzet did not want to comment about the incident but his team-mates were angry.

"It was totally unfair on Muzzy and we are all sad about it," said striker Tony Cottee.

Injured collague Stan Collymore added: "We can do without what we witnessed on Saturday.

"It was commendable of Everton to come out so quickly after the game to dissociate themselves from what happened within their club's support.

"It was a minority booing Muzzy every time he got the ball."



We work very, very hard at Everton to stamp out any sort of racism and this sort of thing doesn't help the club

Spokesman Alan Myers
McDonald, who was in the away section at Filbert Street, said he was disappointed to hear what was said.

"Every club has it's morons, and I want people to realise that there were many fans at Leicester who were telling the idiots to shut up and grow up.

"As an organisation we would like to apologise to Muzzy Izzet and Leicester," he said.

"What happened to Muzzy Izzet was disgraceful, he has about as much to do with what happened in Istanbul than I do.

"What we have here is some people trying to associate the fact that he's got a Turkish father as some sick way of expressing their anger at what happened to those two Leeds fans.

"Somehow we have to get inside the heads of these morons to show them that this is not the way to behave."

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Links to other Football stories are at the foot of the page.