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We dealt with racist incidents says former Norwich City media boss

PUBLISHED: 15:06 24 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:05 25 December 2019

Former Norwich City media boss Joe Ferrari said Cameron Jerome was racially abused which he was at the club. Picture: PA/Jasonpix

Former Norwich City media boss Joe Ferrari said Cameron Jerome was racially abused which he was at the club. Picture: PA/Jasonpix

Joe Ferrari/PA

A former employee of Norwich City Football Club has spoken of times he was forced to deal with incidents of racism aimed at Canaries players during his time at the club.

Joe Ferrari, who spent 18 years in various communication roles at the club, has opened up about a number of occasions where former City players Cameron Jerome and Sebastian Bassong and ex-manager Chris Hughton were subjected to alleged racial abuse while representing the club.

It comes after the issue reached boiling point again over the weekend, with Chelsea defender Antonio Rudiger reportedly a victim of abuse as his side took on Tottenham Hotspur.

Mr Ferrari said: "During my time at the club we always had a very robust attitude towards racism and response to it.

"There was at least one case involving Cameron Jerome when he experienced it and unfortunately I dealt with a lot more involving Chris Hughton - particularly on social media - coming from elsewhere in the country.

Joe Ferrari, former media boss at Norwich City. Picture: JasonpixJoe Ferrari, former media boss at Norwich City. Picture: Jasonpix

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"By and large these incidents were not involving Norwich City supporters, but obviously the club still has to respond. We did have one unfortunate incident at Wolves where abuse came from the Norwich end, however, our supporters did a lot to help combat it."

Mr Ferrari's association with the football club ended before the start of this season, but he still attends games as a fan.

And while he said he has seen improvement in attitude over the years, racism is still an issue in the game.

He said: "It has never gone away entirely. While it is nowhere near the level of the mass overt racist chants of the 70s and 80s but in my 18 years at Norwich City there was probably at least one complaint per year, which is far too many.

"There have been quite a few high profile cases involving England players experiencing it abroad, but it would be wholly wrong to be complacent and think it doesn't happen in this country too.

"I think there needs to be a more joined-up approach between clubs, governing bodies like the FA, the police and organisations like Kick It Out to address how best to stamp it out, because nobody should have to deal with it."

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