Crystal Palace club doctor racially abused

Dr Zafar Iqbal  (Photo: Twitter)
Dr Zafar Iqbal (Photo: Twitter)

Crystal Palace’s club doctor Zafar Iqbal claims he and his children were racially abused by a young child on their way to the match against Bournemouth.

Taking to Twitter, Iqbal said they were called “P***” outside the ground and that the abuse has left him “devastated and speechless.”

In messages posted before the game, Iqbal said: “Taking my 2 youngest kids to their first ever game at Selhurst Park and walking a few hundred yards from the stadium a 3 y old shouted to his dad – ‘Look daddy there’s some P****’. His dad ‘attempted to scold’ him. Racism is not just a football problem.

“I didn’t know how to react. I couldn’t tell off the 3 y old kid. Should I have said something to the dad while my 2 young kids were there? Anyway game to prepare for and wonder if the kid and his parents will be in the crowd…”

After the match, which Palace won, Dr Iqbal posted another message where he explained he didn’t know how to react when his daughter asked if he heard the racial abuse.

He wrote: “The thing that upsets me most is that my 12 year old daughter came to me to ask if I’d heard it and I didn’t know what to say.

“Should I have told off the dad? I was just gobsmacked. Again I reiterate this is not because of football but a society issue. Anyway taking kids on pitch.”

Condemning the incident, Palace said the club was committed to inclusivity.

A statement read: “We utterly deplore the racist comments made to our club doctor while he was heading to today’s match with his children.

“It must have been an awful experience for him and his family and this disgraceful incident shows that the scourge of racism remains in our society.

“Crystal Palace Football Club is committed to inclusivity and diversity and we will offer Dr Zaf our full support if he chooses to take the matter further.”