Gibbs faces disciplinary panel for racist remark

Published: Monday, January 15, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Johannesgurg:Herschelle Gibbs might incur up to a five-Test ban after the South African was caught mouthing racial abuses aimed at the Pakistani supporters on day four of the Centurion Test match yesterday.

Cricket South Africa Chief Executive Gerald Majola said in a statement that Gibbs is to appear before a CSA disciplinary committee tomorrow and former judge Mervyn King would conduct the hearing.

''CSA has investigated the matter, and we have heard the remarks made by Herschelle Gibbs in response to verbal abuse directed by a number of Pakistan supporters at Paul Harris while he was fielding on the boundary."

''Herschelle says these remarks were for the ears only of his team-mates in his proximity, and were directed in general terms at that section of the crowd that had verbally abused Paul Harris. He has apologised if he has caused offence to anyone,'' Mr Majola said.

''However, CSA regards this whole matter in a most serious light and Herschelle will appear before CSAs disciplinary commissioner at the earliest opportunity. CSA would like to commend the stadium authorities for evicting a number of unruly spectators, including those Pakistan supporters who abused Paul Harris.

''This action was taken in terms of the regulations flowing from the International Cricket Councils Anti-Racism Policy. CSA will continue to enforce these regulations rigidly, and we make a special plea to spectators to support their teams in the right spirit of the game,'' he added.

Gibbs' words were picked up by the stump microphone and the phrase ''a bunch of bloody animals'' could be heard along with more obscene comments.

Subsequently, Pakistan team manager Talat Ali lodged an official complaint with the match referee over the incident.

''There have been complaints and this is something that the South African team certainly doesn't stand for,'' South Africa coach Mickey Arthur told reporters after the incident.

''But I think we have to view this in the context in which it was said. It wasn't directed at any Pakistani player. It was done between overs. One of our players did shout something and it was picked up by the stump mikes,'' he claimed.

Media reports claimed section of the Pakistani crowd swore at the South African players who also retaliated and a total of seven spectators, allegedly intoxicated, were removed from the stadium.


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