Warriors winger claims racial abuse during S.League game
Warriors FC's Canadian winger claims he was called a "n*****" during S.League match on Tuesday
Warriors FC forward Jordan Webb has claimed he was racially abused during his team's 2-1 win over Balestier Khalsa in a Great Eastern-Hyundai S.League match on Tuesday.
The 28-year-old Canadian told The New Paper that a verbal slur was allegedly made by Balestier midfielder Raihan Rahman towards him at about the 75th minute of the match, which was attended by almost 2,000 spectators at the Toa Payoh Stadium.
After the alleged incident, Webb angrily confronted Raihan, as players from both team attempted to defuse the situation.
Raihan was later flashed the yellow card by referee G Letchman.
Webb has now lifted the lid on the incident, claiming Raihan called him a "n*****".
TNP has learnt that the incident was also included in Letchman's post-match report submitted to the Football Association of Singapore, as well as in Warriors' team manger Eugene Cheang's report that has to be submitted within 48 hours of a game.
It is understood Raihan has to show cause and explain the incident to the S.League, by Monday.
Recounted Webb: "I was talking to the ref to complain after he had given Balestier a free-kick for my challenge on one of the players.
"Then I heard Raihan say something in Malay, before I heard him say n*****.
"I know he wasn't saying it to anybody else - I was the only black dude out there. So I was really pissed at the time."
Webb was also certain the word was used.
"I heard it loud and clear, 1,000 per cent," he said.
"(Raihan) wouldn't be able to sit here to my face and say he didn't.
"And I think even he knew he messed up, because once the senior players scolded him he stopped yelling and had his head down."
Webb added that when he complained to Letchman about the insult, the referee said he did not hear Raihan say it.
"What was the yellow card for, then?" Webb said.
Raihan, a new signing from Hougang, declined comment when contacted.
Balestier chairman S Thavaneson has not spoken to his player about the alleged incident.
But he told TNP: "I only found out about it after we received the letter from FAS (summoning Raihan to show cause).
"I will say this - Raihan has been an exemplary professional since he joined us.
"I find it hard to believe he said what he is accused of... especially as I believe it is a word that is not very commonly used by local players.
"If Raihan says he did not say it, I would take his word for it."
Webb, who has played in the S.League since 2010, previously told TNP in 2012, when he was a Hougang United player, that he and Guinean teammate Mamadou Diallo frequently received racial abuse from opponents in the S.League.
He said the insults have become less frequent now, but it has not stopped completely.
"It has happened a few times, man," he said. "It never really gets resolved."
He believes the issue is that local players do not understand the severity of racial insults to foreign players who have darker skin.
"I don't want to make Raihan lose games (through being suspended) but I want to educate him so that he understands how bad it is to say those things," said Webb.
"Many local players here don't really understand that type of word is extremely bad in many other parts of this world.
"You say that in Canada or America, you're going to get really messed up."
In 2012, former Woodlands Wellington defender Fabien Lewis, from Trinidad and Tobago, was found to have been racially abused by Zulkiffli Hassim, then playing for Balestier.
Zulkiffli was slapped with a five-match ban and a $1,000 fine by the FAS.