Juninho Bacuna was the subject of racial abuse for the second time this season as his Birmingham City side suffered a tight 1-0 loss to local rivals West Bromwich Albion.
The incident occurred towards the end of the match as the striker made his way to the touchline to report the issue to both the fourth official and the referee.
This is the second time this season that Bacuna has suffered an incident of a similar nature after an incident at fellow rivals Coventry City.
Birmingham City manager Tony Mowbray said, ‘I think the consequences need to be stronger so that individuals think twice about what they say to footballers.
‘I think you have to have a deterrent for the guy who’s come in, had a few drinks, comes to the match. There’s an opportunity in his mind to shout some racial abuse, he has to think twice.
‘I think the consequences have to be pretty severe.’
The match was won by new West Bromwich Albion signing Andreas Weimann, on loan from Bristol City.
In the 85th minute, Weimann managed to tap home a cross from Darnell Furlong on the edge of the box, after the move was set up by fellow new signing Mikey Johnston.
Baggies head coach Carlos Coberán was full of praise for the Austrian striker; ‘I have a lot of respect for someone like him. When you have players with skill to adapt to different positions, it’s great to have people like this at your club.’
There were some contentious scenes at the full-time whistle when goalscorer Weimann went over to the travelling Blues’ fans and taunted them by repeating the score to them and sarcastically clapping.
Both managers simply stated; ‘I didn’t see it’, with Coberán adding; ‘I thought he was engaging with our fans.’
This sees West Brom’s winless run against Birmingham City come to an end, their last win against the Blues back in 2021. It also cements a good home record for the Baggies with just two losses at The Hawthorns all season.
Coberán was not willing to rest on his laurels and said that his side could have had more; ‘We had good opportunities to score goals from the set pieces. There was the [Alex] Mowatt header at the start of the second half that we didn’t take advantage of. If we scored that goal, we wouldn’t be talking about what we are talking about today.’
With Queens Park Rangers and Huddersfield Town both winning their respective games, the relegation battle heats up, with seven teams just separated by five points.
Mowbray, however, feels confident that his side can beat the drop; ‘The frustration for us is we’ve played ok but not scored a goal. We have to find a way to be more clinical and when the opportunities come, we have to get our rewards.’
West Brom face a tricky test next Saturday lunchtime away to Ipswich Town, whilst Birmingham City play away in the Friday night fixture against fellow strugglers Sheffield Wednesday.