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Chiedozie Ogbene calls on UEFA to take stronger action after Republic of Ireland players booed

Ireland's players were jeered as they took a knee ahead of the game with Hungary in Budapest.

Chiedozie Ogbene has called on UEFA to take stronger action over racism in football after the Republic of Ireland’s players were booed for taking a knee in Hungary.

The 24-year-old Rotherham winger became the first African-born player to represent Ireland when he came on as a late substitute during Tuesday night’s 0-0 friendly draw in Budapest.

However, the 11 men who took the field were greeted by loud boos as they knelt in support of the game’s anti-racism campaign before kick-off, just as England’s players had been jeered by some of their own fans ahead of their games against Austria and Romania.

Hungary v Republic Of Ireland – International Friendly – Szusza Ferenc Stadium
Chiedozie Ogbene became the first Nigerian-player to represent the Republic (Trenka Atilla/PA)

Ogbene said: “I try not to worry about it. I just focus on ourselves. I feel like the group we have, it is diverse and everyone is together.

“We hope that UEFA will take stricter action and find a solution. It is a difficult task because it has been going on for many years. We won’t find a result or solution overnight.

“I am so happy we continue to show how important it is to accept everyone for who they are and just educate people, and I am so proud of the team.”

Asked if he had been disappointed at the manner in which the gesture was greeted, Ogbene added: “Yes, I was obviously disappointed because we all go through different stories and different histories in our lives.

“This is something that black people have been fighting for many years, discrimination and racism. There is no place in any sport, any place.

“I was quite disappointed. It is what it is. We stayed strong and I’m so happy that we as a team took the knee to show solidarity between us all.”

Ogbene might have had the final say in a tight game when, seconds after his introduction, he found himself in on goal, but lashed his shot into the side-netting from a tight angle.

He said: “Early on in the game, I was just hoping to come on and get the opportunity to score in front of their fans.

“Maybe it is the best thing that it didn’t happen because I might have let my emotions get the better of me with any sort of celebration I would have done.”

Ogbene was born in Nigeria, but his family moved to Cork when he was seven, and his pride at paving the way for other players to wear the green shirt was clear after his debut.

He said: “To be titled the first African-born, I’m really blessed and it’s a huge honour, something that I want to inspire everyone else to, to follow their dreams.

“I have got the first taste of it and I am hungry for more. I don’t want to miss this opportunity and I will do everything I can to be an option for the manager.”

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ChinaChina29171662
United StatesUnited States22251764
JapanJapan1761033
AustraliaAustralia1441533
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Great BritainGreat Britain11121235
Today's Olympic highlights header

Tuesday's key events


DIVING
· Team GB duo Jack Laugher - silver medallist in Rio - and James Heatly take part in the men's 3m springboard semi-final (2am), and will hope to qualify for the final later in the day (7am)

ATHLETICS
· Two Britons are involved in the women's long jump final, but Abigail Irozuru and Jazmin Sawyers have their work cut out to get a spot on the podium (2.50am)
· Norwegian Karsten Warholm, who broke the world record just last month, goes for gold in the men's 400m hurdles final. USA's Rai Benjamin is expected to be his main challenger (4.20am)
· Great Britain have three representatives in the final of the women's 800m, with Jemma Reekie having perhaps the best chance of a medal (1.25pm)
· A mouth-watering women's 200m final sees Elaine Thompson-Herah go for the prestigious sprint double after claiming the 100m crown. Compatriot Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Namibia's Christine Mboma and USA's Gabrielle Thomas are expected to be her main competitors (1.50pm)

SAILING
· The rescheduled women's skiff 49er FX (4.33am) and men's skiff 49er (5.33am) come to their conclusion, with Team GB involved in both medal races
· Defending champion Giles Scott bids for a second successive gold in the Finn class medal race (6.33am)
· There is another medal chance for Team GB in the mixed Nacra 17 medal race (7.33am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· Team GB's Joe Fraser takes part in the parallel bars final, kicking off the final day of artistic gymnastics (9am)
· USA superstar Simone Biles, who has been forced to pull out of all of her finals so far, is on the starting list for the beam final as she bids for a fifth Olympic gold (9.50am)

FOOTBALL
· The men's semi-finals take place, with Mexico taking on Brazil first up (9am)
· The winner of that first semi-final will face either hosts Japan or Spain (2pm)

CYCLING
· Laura Kenny will look to win a third straight Olympic team pursuit gold medal. Team GB take on United States in their heat (7.44am), with the gold medal race later that day (9.26am)
· Laura's husband and fellow Olympic legend Jason Kenny will also look to continue his huge success in the men's team sprint - an event he has won gold in at every Games since 2008. Team GB will first need to get through the men's qualifying (7.58am), with the gold medal race ending the session (9.44am)

BOXING
· Pat McCormack will be looking to achieve his dream of Olympic gold when he faces Cuba's Roniel Iglesias (11.05am)

> Today's schedule in full
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