An amateur footballer has gone on trial accused of hurling racist abuse at an opposition player during a match.
Michael Kindness appeared at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday following the alleged incident at Tullos Playing Fields and Pavilion last April.
The 30-year-old had been playing at right-back for Kincorth during a match against Aberdeen University FC’s second team.
Around 30 minutes into the first half, the university side’s left-winger Adrian Gassama was fouled and entered into a “tussle” with an opponent.
Kindness is accused of getting involved by swearing and shouting a racist remark towards him.
Mr Gassama then spoke to the referee and the match was abandoned.
He gave evidence at Aberdeen Sheriff Court yesterday, where he recounted the events leading up to the alleged incident.
He said: “There was a guy next to me, close to the centre circle.
“He pushed me and I went up and pushed him back.
“Then from the far end, between the right-hand side and central defender, I heard a racial slur.”
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Mr Gassama said he was certain the insult was aimed at him as he was “the only black person there”.
Teammates Andrew Boyle and Graham Thorpe were also called to give evidence about the match.
They both told the court the alleged racial slur was used after what defence solicitor Graham Morrison described as a “usual football nose-to-nose” – referencing Mr Gassama and his opponent squaring off and pushing each other in the centre of the pitch.
Mr Boyle said: “It ended when Adrian heard what was shouted at him and went over to the referee.”
Mr Morrison suggested his client had not been responsible for shouting the slur.
But this was refuted by Mr Boyle, who said he was “100% certain” about it.
Mr Thorpe told the court that Kindness had said a racist phrase “really loud”, as though it was “almost a shout”.
He said: “Adrian is the only black player on the team and the person saying it was turning towards him.
“It was almost as if he was running away but had turned his head to direct the slur towards him.”
Kindness, of Wellington Circle in Cove, denies the charge.
Along with two defence witnesses, he is expected to give evidence when the trial continues in March.