Republic of Ireland international Cyrus Christie has spoken out against the recent online racist abuse he received, after the FAI reported the issue to authorities.

The Middlesbrough defender scored an own-goal in his country's 5-1 World Cup play-off defeat by Denmark and was subjected to racist abuse on Twitter in the aftermath.

Team-mate James McClean drew attention to the situation while speaking at the PFA Ireland awards, which took place on Saturday, and the FAI contacted the Gardai over the matter.

Now Christie has spoken out, insisting that it's time "to stand up against these individuals who do not belong in football or any other sport."

In a statement published on twitter, the Irish defender wrote: "Firstly, I’d like to say I am extremely proud to represent my country the Republic of Ireland and I give everything I can each time I put on the green shirt.

"I genuinely believe our fans are some of the best in the world.

"However, there have been a number of racist comments which have been brought to my attention during the World Cup qualifying campaign over the last couple of months and most recently last week.

"These comments are not representative of our fans or our sport. 

"We were all deeply upset to not reach the World Cup finals and are hurting just as much as everyone else.

"It is deeply saddening that racism is still part of the game we all enjoy and love. I strongly believe we need to stand up against these individuals who do not belong in football or any other sport."

Earlier in the evening PFAI and anti-racism charity Show Racism the Red Card issued a joint statement, condemning comments they say urged Christie to go to Jamaica and talked of lynching the 25-year-old.

"We fully support all efforts to stamp out racism from the game and that includes comments targeting players on social media," said PFAI general secretary Stephen McGuinness.

"The nature of this incident is really shocking and no player should be subjected to that and we hope that the perpetrator is called to account. This incident should serve as a message to all involved in the game from grassroots upwards that racism needs a response from authorities and team-mates. It cannot be ignored."

Garrett Mullan, a director of SRTRC, called for social networks to play a pro-active part in weeding out such abuse and praised McClean for speaking out.

"There is no place for racism in sport or on social media. We welcome the fact that the FAI and Gardai are taking action but social media outlets also have a role to play in responding to racism," he said.

"As important as reporting such vile incidents is the support that someone receives from those around and in this case, it is clear that Cyrus Christie's team-mates have been affected by this incident.

"We welcome the fact that James McClean has shone a light on to some of the nasty elements out there. His support for his fellow team-mate will help the team and Cyrus in particular, to emerge stronger from this incident."