The Club reacts after Cardiff City fans called racist and homophobic by Reading Football Club.
Amid the 'banter' betwen Cardiff and Reading fans at the Madejski on Saturday a sombre announcement over the tannoy warned Cardiff City fans to stop their racist and homophobic language.
The result was to dull the, until then, lively interaction between the home and away supporters and left Cardiff fans wondering just what an earth had happened.
It seems that the anti English and anti Welsh singing that was going back and fore was 'racist and homophobic' but only if you were a Cardiff fan.
As a result of the annoucement the media quickly jumped on the bandwagon and were happy to spread the news without the facts (nothing new there then) and fulfil the myth spread by the tannoy announcer.
There have been minor retractions and word changes from some of the media quick to hammer us at the time but when your own national newspaper runs a front page headline FANS IN 'RACIST CHANT' STORM you realise that trial by media is pretty one sided and first impressions, however inaccurate, count.
I hope that Reading FC and Wales On Sunday offer some sort of retraction and the mainstream media report on that as quickly as they were ready to condemn us.
The Club statement reads:
Following conversations over the past 48 hours with Reading Football Club, Thames Valley Police and South Wales Police, we have a clear picture of the facts pertaining to Saturday’s stadium announcement during our fourth round FA Cup tie at Madejski Stadium and the upsetting allegations made against our supporters.
It is understood that the four Cardiff City supporters arrested and subsequently released prior to investigation were cited during the fixture for using what would normally be considered as unwarranted or non-sensical language. This language could be heard taking place between fans of both clubs and was of an anti-Welsh/anti-English nature.
We are extremely disappointed that Reading Football Club chose to label the behaviour as racist and homophobic (of which there has been no evidence). We also question their protocol and procedure on the day and welcome a full investigation into its use for the benefit of both our clubs and indeed British football.
We are also very disturbed and concerned with some of the subsequent press and media reporting on this matter. Cardiff City Football Club is fully supportive of the efforts being made to banish racism, homophobia and other prejudices from our game and feel that inaccurate or mis-informed reporting harms and dilutes this critical messaging and the work football does within diverse communities in our city and its surrounding areas. Cardiff City is an inclusive club and embraces all cultures, ethnicities and people. We would welcome a retraction from those press and media outlets that have given the perception of our supporters as being racist and homophobic.
Cardiff City FC Executive Director & CEO, Ken Choo, said on the matter: “Our Football Club prides itself on its respect of all people, irrespective of their background, beliefs or orientation. Cardiff is a diverse and welcoming, modern multicultural city and our supporters’ conduct consistently reflects that at our games.
“The announcement made at Reading this weekend was both damaging and hurtful and we would welcome a correction and apology from them to our supporters.
“I look forward to the conclusion of the police investigation, at which point I am confident that the reputation of our club and fans will be fully and unequivocally restored.”