Gordon Strachan has come under fire for his comments (Picture: Getty Images)Gordon Strachan has sparked outrage with comments that compared abuse convicted paedophile Adam Johnson will receive to racism.
The comments came a week after the 62-year-old argued that Johnson should be given a chance to play football again now he has been released from prison.
Johnson, who turns 32 in July, served half of the six-year sentence handed down after he was found guilty of engaging in sexual activity with a 15-year-old girl.
The ex-Sunderland and Manchester City winger, who represented England on 12 occasions, remains on licence and, as part of his release conditions, he will no longer be permitted to spend time alone with his daughter.
Strachan was speaking on Sky Sports’ The Debate when he made the bizarre comparison between Johnson and black players who receive racist abuse.
Adam Johnson has been released from prison (Picture: PA)‘If he goes on to the pitch and people start calling him names, have we got to do the same as it is to the racist situation?’ Strachan said. ‘Is it all right to call him names now after doing his three years – have we got to allow that to happen?’
Troy Townsend of Kick It Out said of Strachan’s comments: ‘That’s the problem when you keep giving [air-time] to those whose sell-by date long gone.
‘This is where education is needed. I despair.’
The former Scotland and Celtic manager stated last week that he would be fine with signing Johnson for a club.
‘I would if he’s shown genuine remorse,’ Strachan said. ‘Then I’d say, ‘right, let’s get on with it. ‘I would because I go back to what I believe in, that everybody deserves a second chance – and he’s done his bit.
‘People will think he’s done his three years but this is for life. People will say “that’s that guy”.’
Sky Sports are set to hold talks with Strachan and may remove him from future programmes.
It remains to be seen if Johnson will be handed another opportunity to play professional football now he is a free man again.
The former England star issued an apology after his release, stating: ‘I am very sorry for the effect my conduct had on those directly and indirectly involved.
‘It should never have happened and I deeply regret what I did.
‘I now want to concentrate on the future and want to demonstrate through my actions that I am committed to repaying them for their support.’
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