SDLP leader Colum Eastwood has spoken on behalf of the party to condemn the abuse levelled at Derry footballer James McClean.
“The vicious anti-Irish and sectarian abuse that James McClean has been subject to for almost a decade has been despicable.
“James and his family have received death threats and sectarian abuse on social media and at the football ground.
“Having watched and listened to James’ interviews over the years when he has called out this abuse he has received, the threats against him and his family are chilling.
“No one deserves such abuse based on their race, religion or political beliefs. This abuse must stop immediately.
“It is only right that Stoke and the Football Association of Ireland, amongst others, have condemned this abuse. But unless it is tackled immediately it will have a continued negative impact on James, his family and other Irish footballers playing in England.
“It is time for the English FA to condemn all threatening abuse that players receive and impose strict sanctions against those fans who threaten players with violence.
“This abuse of James McClean must stop once and for all.”