Dundee United-Hibs probe finds abuse 'most likely derogatory rather than racist' as new footage suggests 'fat' comment from away end

Hibs and Dundee United say that an investigation into alleged racial abuse of Jair Tavares has concluded that the comment was “in all likelihood derogatory rather than racial” and that it came from a stand housing away supporters.

Both Dundee United and Hibs agree the shout in question came from the Jerry Kerr Stand, which houses away fans at Tannadice.
Both Dundee United and Hibs agree the shout in question came from the Jerry Kerr Stand, which houses away fans at Tannadice.

A probe was immediately launched in the aftermath of Dundee United’s 1-0 win over Hibs at Tannadice on Tuesday night after footage suggested a potential racist slur against Hibs’ Portuguese winger Jair Tavares.

However, after extensive analysis of all available camera angles and audio clips, both clubs and stakeholders agree that the words came from the Jerry Kerr Stand that accommodates away fans, and that the sound did not correlate to the pictures of the footage that initially sparked the investigation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Furthermore, new recordings released by both clubs imply that the words “fat b*****” were used, directed at a supporter who threw the ball away from Tavares during the latter stages of the match, although all parties accept there is not definitive evidence to make a clear-cut verdict on the matter.

A statement from Hibs read: “Hibernian FC can provide an update on the investigation into the incident that occurred shortly before the end of Tuesday night's cinch Premiership fixture match against Dundee United.

“The investigation, completed in conjunction with our counterparts at Dundee United and the host broadcasters alongside intensive discussions with other stakeholders, focused mainly on the context of the incident and utilised every available video angle and accompanying audio in an attempt to conclusively prove both where the shout emitted from, and also what phrase was shouted.

“Following feedback from the host broadcaster and analysis of the audio mics available, both clubs unequivocally accept the shout came from the stand housing the away fans.

“While there is no conclusive proof to confirm the words used by the offender, all parties are in agreement, based on the evidence available, that the likelihood is the comment was derogatory rather than racial. In no way does this make the abuse acceptable, but it is clear that the initial media clip proved an unreliable and skewed representation of the incident. With the permission of the SPFL, both clubs are happy to share footage which gives better context to the situation.

“Hibernian FC will continue to investigate the matter with Dundee United, the host broadcaster, and other stakeholders, to ensure that the correct outcome is reached. If an individual is identified, then the person will face the strongest action from the Club.

“As a club, Hibernian FC has a zero-tolerance position on all kinds discriminatory and derogatory abuse and finds that behaviour completely abhorrent. It has no place at Hibs, in the game or in wider society.

“Hibernian FC is proud to have players, staff, and supporters from a number of different backgrounds and cultures, and will continue to work alongside all other clubs up and down the county to ensure that all forms of discrimination are kicked out of the game.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Everyone at Hibernian FC would also like to thank Dundee United, the SPFL, the host broadcaster, and other stakeholders, for acting so quickly on this matter and for the thorough investigation so far.”

Dundee United also released a statement that read: “Dundee United FC can confirm it has finished an initial investigation into the incident that occurred shortly before the end of Tuesday night’s cinch Premiership victory over Hibernian FC.

“The investigation, completed in conjunction with our counterparts at Hibs and the host broadcasters, included intensive discussions with other stakeholders, focused mainly on the context of the incident.

“During the course of the investigation, we utilised every available video angle and accompanying audio in an attempt to conclusively prove both where the shout emitted from, and also what phrase was shouted.

“Following feedback from the host broadcaster and analysis of the audio mics available, both clubs unequivocally accept that the shout came from the stand housing the away fans.

“While there is no conclusive proof to confirm the words used by the offender, all parties are in agreement, based on the evidence available, that the likelihood is the comment was derogatory rather than racial.

"In no way does this make the abuse acceptable, but it is clear that the initial media clip and reaction by parties after that offered an unreliable and skewed representation of the incident.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“As a club, we are pleased that the unfair representation of our supporters has been rectified. We hope that our calm and concise investigation will end a disappointing experience for our supporters who should have been celebrating victory on the park.

“Dundee United FC offers our continued assistance to Hibernian FC should they wish to attempt to identify the individual responsible for the comment.

“Finally, and importantly, we would like to reiterate our policy as a club regarding racism amongst all forms of derogatory abuse - it is not welcome at Tannadice Park. We do not welcome racists to Tannadice Park.”