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Barbados international wins race case against Gillingham

Frustrated: Gillingham refused to pay for McCammon’s medical treatment when he was injured (PA)

FORMER BARBADOS international Mark McCammon has become the first professional footballer to successfully sue a club for racism in Europe after winning a case against Gillingham FC.

The Gills challenged a tribunal ruling made in August 2012, which found them guilty of racially discriminating against McCammon, and the striker was subsequently awarded £68,000.

At the original tribunal, the 35-year-old claimed he was fined for not attending training during a period of heavy snow and was left frustrated by Gillingham’s refusal to pay for his medical treatment when he was injured.

McCammon, who started playing for the Kent-based club in 2008, was eventually sacked in 2011.

Last week the Employment Appeal Tribunal unanimously ruled in McCammon’s favour, and upheld the previous court decision.

Despite being relieved by the decision, the striker said he believed the case has tarnished his future in the sport.

“It was traumatising and it sort of sabotaged my career in the football world, my progress," he said.

“I had football clubs after me and that just deteriorated. It’s very, very unfortunate".

Anti-racism campaign group Race for Sport (FRS), who supported McCammon during the case, believes the footballing authorities should take a hard line with Gillingham.

A spokesman said: “RFS now calls upon the FA to take effective sanctions against Gillingham FC and impose a significant fine, and set clear guidelines for the club with equality training requirements.

“The Professional Footballers’ Association are urged to review their previous failure to support McCammon and to ensure his legal fees for the original hearing and the appeal.

“The FA, and all other football authorities, are urged to examine and publicise the lessons to be learnt from the judgment as a matter of urgency.”

Race for Sport will be hosting its inaugural international conference on September 25 and 26 in central London.

It will bring together representations from the NBA, the NFL, Kick It Out and the Welsh FA.

For more information, visit www.raceforsport.co.uk

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