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Cardiff University cricketer suspended for flags display

John Monaghan

MEMBER of Cardiff University's cricket team has been suspended from the side over a loyalist flags display during a visit by the club to a bar in the city.

The cricket club has apologised, saying it was "deeply embarrassed and sorry" for the actions of "one member."

While in the Koko Gorillaz bar, members of the team posed with a Union flag emblazoned with the words 'No Surrender' and various flags were also draped outside the popular student venue, including a St George's flag with 'UVF' written on it.

A spokesman for the university's Students' Union said last night it had suspended "the individual's access to all social and sporting activity organised by the Students' Union until graduation, at which point they will no longer be eligible to participate".

He said the cricket club had "taken similar action in the suspension of all cricket club activity".

Among those who spotted the flags included students from the north who were walking home.

One bemused Cardiff resident asked: "Why is Koko Gorillaz looking more like a scary part of Belfast this afternoon?"

Other social media users attempted to blame the flags on Ulster rugby fans travelling to see their side face Welsh outfit the Dragons in Newport.

When asked about the flags one of the men believed to be behind the sectarian display said: "Yes, what about it? I left the university two years ago.

"You'll need to speak to someone else about this."

Cardiff University said it was "aware" of an incident and was liaising with the Students Union Cricket Club.

A spokesman said: "As a university we take incidents like this extremely seriously. We aim to establish an inclusive culture free from discrimination and based upon the values of dignity, courtesy and respect."

In a statement posted on Twitter, the cricket club said it was "deeply embarrassed and sorry for this matter" and wished to apologise.

It said: "Two other flags (apart from the club flag) were brought and displayed by one club member including one flag that has caused significant upset to members of the public including other students at Cardiff University."

"The cricket club would like to make it clear that it condemns the display of this item and we are shocked and embarrassed by the actions of one of our members.

"The cricket club... does not support or condone the actions of any such organisation."

The statement added: "The trust (between Koko and the cricket club) built up over the past five years has been broken due to this individual. Once Koko Gorillaz were made aware of the flag and the history behind it they asked for it to be immediately taken down."

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