Airdrie open investigation after defender Rico Quitongo accuses club's fans of racist abuse

Airdrie defender Rico Quitongo has claimed he suffered racist abuse from one of his own team’s fans during their weekend draw with League One leaders Queen’s Park.
Rico Quitongo. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)Rico Quitongo. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)
Rico Quitongo. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

The left-back says his club are supporting him and have quickly launched an investigation after he reported the comments coming from the Airdrie area of the stadium on Saturday. The teams were playing at the Spiders’ temporary home at Firhill.

Quitongo tweeted his disgust on Tuesday evening but said he didn’t want sympathy, just action because “more needs to be done for cowards to change”.

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The 22-year-old is the son of well-known Scottish league footballer Jose Quitongo who had spells with Hamilton, Alloa and Hearts in a career spanning two decades in Scotland. Older brother Jai is also a professional for Queen’s Park but the Diamonds defender says he is relieved his family weren’t in the away section at the game to hear the offensive remarks he did.

"At my football game away to Queen’s Park I was subjected to racial abuse by own of my own Airdrie supporters. Now as I’m not surprised with this still in football, I am more hugely disappointed to hear it from a section where my family would normally be sitting. Thankfully my family weren’t there but it makes no difference, it shouldn’t be in football and I absolutely don’t deserve to be personally abused for my skin colour. I’m all for banter with fans but I will not tolerate it whatsoever.

"I am proud to be black and proud to be who I am. I may not be the best footballer for fans but I shouldn’t be singled out period. The club have a pending investigation and are supporting me as much as they can but you can’t always catch the idiots that make these remarks which upsets me.

"This is not a cry for sympathy as it’s the last thing I’d want but more needs to be done for cowards to change.”

Quitongo, a former Hearts youth prospect, moved to the Diamonds from Dumbarton in the summer, and has played nine times for Ian Murray’s side so far this season.

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