Northern Ireland news

Ulster Rugby fan gets life-time after Simon Zebo abuse

Simon Zebo said the comments against him were made by an "elderly man, 40-plus"

ULSTER Rugby has banned a spectator for life from Kingspan Stadium after a probe into verbal abuse aimed at Simon Zebo.

The former Munster and Ireland star was playing for French club Racing 92 against Ulster in a Heineken Champions Cup game in Belfast on January 12 when the incident happened.

He tweeted afterwards: "I hope my ears deceived me with some comments directed my way from the crowd. #NotOn Django wins in the end."

'Django' appeared to be a reference to the 2012 Quentin Tarantino movie about an African-American slave.

Ulster Rugby said it has written to Zebo and Racing 92 to apologise.

A statement on its website read: "Following a robust investigation into allegations of abuse directed at Simon Zebo during the fixture versus Racing 92 on Saturday January 12, Ulster Rugby has sanctioned a life-time ban on a spectator, for breaching our stadium regulations.

"We would like to thank the many supporters who provided information to assist our investigation.

"We are all very proud of our reputation as an inclusive club and the unacceptable behaviour of this one individual is not reflective of our supporters, or the values of our club.

"We have issued a written apology to Simon Zebo and Racing 92."

Zebo (28) was born and raised in Cork. His mother is from Cork and his father Arthur hails from Martinique – a Caribbean island which is part of the Lesser Antilles, an overseas region of France.

Last week, Zebo told Rugby Pass the comments against him were made by an "elderly man, 40-plus".

He said he made the incident public because he wanted to set an example for his children.

Zebo tweeted "thank you" to Ulster Rugby last night.

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