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Haringey players walk off after allegations of racism during FA Cup clash

Borough were playing Yeovil.

Haringey players walk off after allegations of racism during FA Cup clash

The FA Cup fourth-qualifying-round tie between Haringey Borough and Yeovil was abandoned after allegations that a home player was racially abused.

The home players walked off the field 64 minutes in, shortly after Yeovil had scored.

“Sorry for the late update but wanted to make sure we gave correct information,” said a post on the official Haringey Borough Twitter account.

“Game has been abandoned following racial abuse. Horrendous afternoon. It must be said that 99.9% of @YTFC fans are also disgusted by what’s happened as much as we are. One club, one community.”

Yeovil were leading 1-0 when Haringey’s players walked off the field, with the target of the abuse reported to be goalkepeer Valery Pajetat.

There was trouble at the FA Cup clash between Haringey and Yeovil (View From the Ninian
There was trouble at the FA Cup clash between Haringey and Yeovil (View From the Ninian handout)

The Football Association swiftly released a statement saying it was looking into the incident “as a matter of urgency”.

“We are deeply concerned about the allegation of discrimination from an area of the crowd towards a player during the FA Cup fourth round qualifying match between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town, which resulted in the fixture being abandoned,” said the governing body.

“There is no room for discrimination in our game and we are working with the match officials and the relevant authorities, as a matter of urgency, to fully establish the facts and take the appropriate steps.”

Ben James, a Haringey fan, was at the game and gave the PA news agency his account.

“We were stood toward the other end so can’t comment on what we heard,” he said. “But it all began when the referee gave Yeovil a penalty. It seemed like their fans were trying to wind up the Haringey goalie by shaking the net and the like.

“Valery (Pajeta, the Haringey keeper) went towards their fans and seemed to have a bit of a conversation before coming away as if he’d been hit with something. The referee then removed what looked like a bottle or a can. There was a bit of a pause while the referee dealt with what went on and players from both sides tried to quell what had gone on.

“The penalty was taken and the Haringey manager marched straight on and withdrew his players as this was happening. The Haringey players seemed pretty agitated, Coby Rowe in particular having to be held back.

“I’m a Haringey fan, have been coming to games for a couple of years. They came back on (both Yeovil and Haringey players) to applaud the fans but that was it.

“But the game is abandoned. There were a few stewards but the police have been called since and are here now.”

The football anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out praised the “swift and decisive action” taken by the Haringey manager Tom Loizou and his players, comparing their response to that of the England team in last week’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria.

Kick It Out said in a statement on Twitter: “The reports relating to events at Haringey Borough FC this afternoon, in The FA Cup tie with Yeovil Town, are of alleged racist abuse aimed at their goalkeeper, (Valery) Douglas Pajetat, and yet again means players are continuing to receive discriminatory abuse while doing their job.

“The Haringey manager and players took swift and decisive action as a result of the abuse, similar to that taken by the England team out in Bulgaria just five days ago.

“Kick It Out has informed The FA and will support the club in identifying the offender(s) to ensure appropriate action is taken and strong punishment issued.

“We would also like to offer our full support to Douglas and all at Haringey Borough FC.”

Yeovil manager Darren Sarll said his club supported the decision of Haringey’s players to walk off the pitch.

“On behalf of Yeovil Town, we fully support Haringey and we stand together,” Sarll told BBC Somerset.

“I want Haringey and our football club to know we don’t condone anything of that nature, if there was anything of that nature.

“We, footballers and managers, get a lot of abuse but nobody should feel discriminated against when they come to play football.

“I’d do anything to win but there are certain levels and lines I’d never go over. There was no way I’d support racial discrimination.

“I feel we’ve done the right thing. I’m not going to feel anything other than proud for the way the players conducted themselves.

“Now the authorities will take care of what they need to take care of.”

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