Hibs boss backs probe into alleged racial abuse of Ikpeazu

Hibernian manager Paul Heckingbottom has welcomed the club’s investigation into the alleged racial abuse of Hearts striker Uche Ikpeazu during Sunday’s Edinburgh derby.

Uche Ikpeazu celebrates at full-time after Hearts' 2-1 win at Easter Road.

Footage from the day appears to have caught one fan in the Easter Road main stand using racially offensive terminology towards the Englishman after the 24-year- old had netted the equaliser, and the disgusted Hibs manager boss has backed any moves to catch the culprit and stamp out the hatred.

He said: “I saw an incident the other day in the Hartlepool game [against Dover, which almost led to players walking off in response to racist abuse]. That wasn’t nice. We don’t want to see any of that. You hope things move on.

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“But, it’s right to highlight it and try to get things dealt with and eradicate it totally. I think we’ll see more because we want to highlight it and get it out of the game and people need to be strong and feel they’re going to be backed enough when they speak out. That’s the right road to getting it out the game.

“Not too long ago, people wouldn’t speak up and would have accepted it or turned a blind eye. Now we’re not doing that and that’s a good thing.”

That stance is backed by Hearts counterpart Craig Levein. He said: “It’s a horrible thing to hear about and everyone at Hearts is here to support Uche and anyone else who suffers from any type of abuse. An incident like this is disgusting and we need to make it clear that the people guilty of it are not welcome in football.”