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Gordon Strachan 'will not appear again' on Sky after comments comparing paedophile footballer Adam Johnson with black players facing racial abuse

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 07/04/2019 Press Association Sport Staff
Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Europe - Slovenia vs Scotland - Stozice Stadium, Ljubljana, Slovenia - October 8, 2017   Scotland manager Gordon Strachan before the match   Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers © Reuters Soccer Football - 2018 World Cup Qualifications - Europe - Slovenia vs Scotland - Stozice Stadium, Ljubljana, Slovenia - October 8, 2017 Scotland manager Gordon Strachan before the match Action Images via Reuters/Andrew Boyers

Former Scotland manager Gordon Strachan will no longer be used by Sky Sports after controversial comments in which he appeared to conflate convicted sex offender Adam Johnson's situation with racial abuse.

Johnson has recently been released after serving three years in prison for engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old fan, and the ex-England winger has not ruled out a return to football.

Strachan said in his role as an occasional contributor on The Debate earlier this week: 'If he goes on to the pitch and people start calling him names, have we got to do the same as it is to the racist situation?

'Is it all right to call him names now after doing his three years - have we got to allow that to happen?'

Gordon Strachan will no longer be used by Sky Sports after controversial comments © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Gordon Strachan will no longer be used by Sky Sports after controversial comments

Strachan is not an employee of Sky so is not subject to its disciplinary protocols, but the broadcaster has distanced itself from the Scot's remarks and it is understood he will not be used again.

A Sky statement said: 'The comments were made by a guest on The Debate. Of course Sky Sports does not support the comments and we're sorry for the offence they have caused.'  

A number of prominent black footballers and anti-racism campaigners joined in condemnation of Strachan's comments, with Troy Townsend of Kick it Out describing his 'despair'.

Townsend, father of Crystal Palace and England winger Andros, tweeted on Saturday: 'That's the problem when you keep giving [air-time] to those whose sell-by date long gone. This is where education is needed. I despair.'

Adam Johnson wearing a suit and tie: He compared convicted sex offender Adam Johnson with black players who have faced racial abuse © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited He compared convicted sex offender Adam Johnson with black players who have faced racial abuse

Former Reading and Middlesbrough striker Leroy Lita shared video footage of Strachan's intervention and added: 'He really compared racism with paedophilia. F*****g disgrace.'

Other fans also took to social media to express outrage. Some compared Strachan to Juventus defender Leonardo Bonucci who last week partly blamed team-mate Moise Kean after he suffered racist abuse against Cagliari. 

A fortnight ago, England players were subject to monkey chants in Montenegro, which led to Raheem Sterling and Danny Rose speaking out. And even on Saturday there were two incidents of racism, with Brentford confirming a fan was arrested for racially abusing Derby midfielder Duane Holmes, while Wigan are 'angered' by an abusive message sent to defender Nathan Byrne on Twitter after a 2-2 draw with Bristol City. 

Strachan was on Saturday night said to be 'catching his breath and working out his next option' with show insiders believing the discussion of racism in the first half of the show had prompted him to mention it during a later segment about Johnson.

a man wearing a suit and tie © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited

Strachan was one of the most popular midfield players of his generation in the 1980s and early 90s, winning trophies for for Aberdeen, Manchester United and Leeds.

He later managed Coventry, Southampton, Celtic and Middlesbrough. He left his last job with the Scotland national team in 2017 and has done television work since.

On Saturday, the Met Police's Twitter account for Brentford games tweeted following the club's 3-3 draw at home against Derby that a fan had been arrested. 'In response to rumour tweets, one male was arrested in the home end today for a racially aggravated offence against a Derby player. The male is currently in custody and an investigation is ongoing,' they said in a statement on social media.

Derby manager Frank Lampard added: 'Duane Holmes complained that he was racially abused. I didn't see it, I was facing play.

'A fan came out to him at the dugout, at the side and abused him. It was reported.

'The police have someone, that's all the detail I know.'

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