Aussie Ryan on ‘powerful’ statement against racism

Maty Ryan has praised fellow goalkeeper Douglas Pajetat for walking off the field after suffering racial abuse in Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup tie between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town.

By Alex Stedman • 23 October 2019

By Paul Hazlewood
Maty Ryan.

The Cameroonian, playing for the hosts, was subjected to the abuse during the second half of Saturday’s contest, with both teams leaving the field and the game being abandoned in the 64th minute as a result. 

Ryan said, “It was a powerful statement, but it’s a shame that we’re still speaking about the subject in this day and age. 

“Full credit to everyone involved from both clubs and the individual himself to have the confidence to walk off the pitch with the support of everyone.

“It shows good unity from everyone involved to make a stand, as we continue to try and kick these problems out of the game.”

By Paul Hazlewood
Maty Ryan.

The Australian goalkeeper, who captained his country recently on international duty, spoke about the power of the sport and the positive effects that such events can have on raising awareness in wider society. 

“Football is a powerful sport and this sort of thing has gone on for far too long, so something needs to be done in order to stop it,” he continued. 

“Let’s hope that this is a big step towards that – as players we have quite a bit of power to be able to make a stand, which is what both teams did in that moment – so I commend them for it.

“Hopefully it gets the right attention now to work towards a solution to rid society, the game and the world of this type of abuse.”

By Paul Hazlewood
The No Room for Racism campaign at the Amex.

This weekend will see the Premier League’s ‘No Room for Racism’ campaign at the Amex Stadium, as the Seagulls host Everton on the south coast. 

Ryan spoke about the human aspect to the game, as well as highlighting how important campaigns such as the Premier League’s can be in continuing to raise the profile of such unacceptable incidents.

“We’re human beings before we’re footballers. Football is a game of emotions and both the supporters and us as players can get caught up in that sometimes.

“You just have to try to avoid doing things that warrant consequences, hopefully the people involved in this incident realise the harm it can cause to an individual and we can use it as a step towards getting rid of these sorts of things.

“Campaigns like the Premier League’s ‘No Room for Racism’ one are vitally important, and we have to have those, as well as making examples of the incident like the one at the weekend. 

“There’s absolutely no positives to come from something like that, and the Premier League’s initiative is another big step in making supporters aware that that type of behaviour is unacceptable.”