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Page last updated at 07:23 GMT, Thursday, 1 October 2009 08:23 UK

United appeal racial abuse fine


BBC Sport's Mark Sidebottom reports on the IFA's decision to fine Ballymena United over alleged racist chants by supporters

Ballymena United have said they will appeal against the fine imposed on them over fans shouting racial abuse at Dungannon Swifts keeper Alvin Rouse.

The Irish FA fined the club £1,250 after finding that United supporters had directed racist comments at the Barbadian international on 15 August.

The club provided video evidence in an attempt to back-up their case.

"We feel the committee did not consider the evidence properly," said Ballymena official Billy Bell.

The incident was reported by the referee and IFA match delegate after a Carling Premiership match at Dungannon's Strangmore Park ground.

Bell, who attended Wednesday's disciplinary hearing, said the club wanted to clear its name.

"We had two senior and respected members of our board who were in that small section of supporters and they are quite adamant that the words were not spoken," he added.

"We have made extensive inquiries throughout the club. None of our supporters heard the comments.

"The club is fully signed up to Uefa's 10-point plan and we would never condone these sort of comments.

"We would take serious action against anyone found to have uttered such comments.

"Alvin Rouse was not brought to the committee to present evidence so we did not have the benefit of hearing any complaint."

However, Rouse told BBC Sport on Thursday afternoon that he had been racially abused by "one or two fans" during the game in August.

The case is believed to be the first time an Irish League club has been fined over an incident involving racial chants.

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see also
Dungannon Sw 2-1 Ballymena Utd
15 Aug 09 |  Irish

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