RFL probe racism claim

The Rugby Football League are looking into an allegation of racism from Saturday’s Challenge Cup semi-final double header in Bolton.

Arif Ahmed, a sports and news reporter, was covering the game for ITV Calendar, which included him interacting with fans on camera.

He claims, however, that during filming he was the subject of racist slurs from a Hull FC fan and a Halifax fan.

In a thread on Twitter, Ahmed said: “The Challenge Cup final/semi finals was difficult but fun to cover yesterday with four of the six teams coming from the area I report on. Ruined for me by a Hull FC fan who told me to ‘F**k off’ (on camera) and ‘F**k off back home’ later on.

“And a Halifax fan who asked if I was from ‘Bollywood’ and ‘If I fancied him’. A shame for the RFL, the two clubs, one who I’ve worked for in the past, and the rest of the Rugby League community who were helpful, great and happy to talk to me after games regardless if their side won or lost.

“Normally it doesn’t bother me and is a regular occurrence (not just in Rugby League) being an Asian reporter. But this one has really annoyed me for some reason. When it’s happened in the past you just let it slide, thoughts of ‘what’s the point’ and ‘what will actually be done about it – probably nothing’ come to mind.

“But there comes a point where you’ve had enough of it. I don’t want any sympathy, I’m a big boy and I’ll be fine. But I feel this sort of thing needs to be brought to light, I mean can’t we all just get along?”

His comments have been met with much support from the rugby league community, with fans from clubs across the country condemning the actions of those involved.

His tweets were also seen by the RFL, who tweeted back, saying: “Arif, thank you for bringing this to our attention.

“We have already contacted both clubs, and will be working with them – and you – to identify the culprits. These comments, and attitudes, are totally unacceptable in any aspect of Rugby League.”