The Professional Footballers' Association has admitted that it regrets booking controversial comedian Reginald D. Hunter at its awards ceremony last night.
Hunter used racist language throughout his set and made jokes about Liverpool striker Luis Suarez, who was handed an eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United full-back Patrice Evra last season.
PFA Chief Executive Gordon Taylor initially defended the controversial set, but chairman Clarke Carlisle admitted that he was "embarrassed" at the mistake, and the PFA has now released a statement expressing their regret and disappointment.
"The PFA regrets the offence caused by the performance of Reginald D Hunter at last night's awards ceremony in London. We share the strong disappointment felt by our diverse membership at the choice of language throughout his appearance. We would like to make it clear that we feel any use of such language is wholly inappropriate," read the statement.
"He was booked on the basis of his recent television appearances, however clearly his performance last night was of a very different nature. Whilst we are not generally made aware of the material a comedian intends on doing, it is clear that the language used was unacceptable.
"In a conference call with Reginald and three members of The London Speakers Bureau, through which he was recruited, it was outlined the makeup of our audience which would be widely diverse including around 25% of women and ages ranging from 18 to 80. It was made absolutely clear that swearing or any racist references were to be avoided. Therefore we were totally dismayed that the performance was the exact opposite of our requirement."