Kerala Blasters Football Club on Friday expressed "deep disappointment" and concern over an incident of alleged racism during its Indian Super League match with Bengaluru FC here. Reportedly, Bengaluru FC player Ryan Williams had allegedly racially abused Kerala Blasters defender Aiban Dohling during the inaugural match of the league's 10th season at the Jawaharlal Nehru International Stadium on Thursday. The alleged incident took place at the 82nd minute of the match in which Kerala Blasters won. Fans Accuse Bengaluru FC’s Ryan Williams of Making Racist Gesture Towards Kerala Blasters’ Aibanbha Dohling After Video of Their Confrontation During ISL 2023–24 Match Surfaces.
"It has come to our attention that during the match, one of our players was subjected to a disrespectful gesture by a Bengaluru FC player. We want to make it abundantly clear that there is absolutely no room for racist and derogatory behaviour in our club and in the sport. Racism, discrimination, and disrespectful actions have no place on the football pitch or anywhere else," Kerala Blasters said in a statement.
The club also said that an official complaint has been lodged with the appropriate authorities urging them to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.
"Kerala Blasters wish to express our deep disappointment and concern with a regrettable incident that occurred during our opening match against Bengaluru FC," the statement said.
The club said that football is a sport that "unites people from diverse backgrounds and cultures" and was a platform for mutual respect. China’s 4–0 Win Over Myanmar Advances Them to Pre-Quarterfinals and Boosts Indian Hopes in Asian Games 2023.
"We remain committed to promoting a culture of diversity, inclusion, and respect in football and in our club," it said, urging Bengaluru FC to take appropriate action. The video of the alleged incident has gone viral on social media.
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