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When Moeen Ali was the target of racial taunts from Indian Brits

December 17, 2014

The Guardian’s Sports Staff, 9 September 2014, http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/sep/08/moen-ali-family-booing-england-india-edgbaston-police, where the title is Moeen Ali’s family appalled by booing of England player against India”

Moeen Ali was booed during England's T20 match against India but does not want to pursue the matterThe family of Moeen Ali have called the booing of the England player at Edgbaston “disgraceful” after a complaint from a spectator resulted in police classing it as a ”non-crime hate-related incident”. An accusation of racially motivated abuse was made by a member of the crowd watching the one-off Twenty20 international between England and India but, after an investigation, the police concluded that no crime had been committed. They are unable to take further action without a complaint from Moeen, who does not want to pursue the matter.

Instead the police have recorded the episode as a “hate-related incident” and suggested they would need more evidence. The spokesman confirmed that police officers did not review TV footage. “If further action was to be taken, the victim would need to make a complaint,” a spokesman for West Midlands police told ESPNcricinfo. “While the booing was perceived by the complainant as being racially motivated, booing is not in itself a crime. Had someone been shouting an offensive term, it would be different.”

Inspector Jason Wathes, neighbourhood policing manager for Birmingham South, said: “We have received a hate crime report from an anonymous third party about booing from a number of people aimed at an England cricketer on Sunday 7 September, at Edgbaston cricket ground.

“While there could be a number of reasons behind the booing, it has been perceived as racially motivated. We have now fully looked into the matter and decided the most proportionate and appropriate course of action is to record it as a non-crime hate-related incident, in line with the West Midlands police hate crime policy.”

The Association of Chief Police Officers defines a hate incident as “any incident, which may or may not constitute a criminal offence, which is perceived by the victim or any other person, as being motivated by prejudice or hate.”

Munir Ali, Moeen’s father, told ESPNcricinfo. “We are very disappointed with what happened. It should have been a special day: Moeen was playing for his country in the city of his birth. It is the city I was born in and the city my mother was born in. The whole family was looking forward to it and we thought he would receive a warm welcome.

“Instead he was abused from the start. He was abused because he is a Muslim and because of his Pakistan heritage. That is disgraceful.

“We have experienced so much kindness and goodwill from all communities – Indian, British and Pakistani – in recent months, so it is disappointing that some supporters let their team down with this behaviour. There is still a problem with racism between Asian communities in the UK.

“Moeen does not want to report the incident. He wants to concentrate on his cricket and he wants to be a role model for all young people to show that, if you work hard, you can succeed in this country. I don’t know why anyone would hate him for that.”

England won the match by three runs but the India captain, MS Dhoni, refused to condemn the booing when asked about it after the match. He pointed out that Ravindra Jadeja had received similar treatment through the Test series after his clash with Jimmy Anderson.

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