LOCAL FOOTBALL: Match involving Eunice Huntingdon abandoned following racial abuse claims
- Credit: Archant
Local club Eunice Huntingdon have strongly denied any wrongdoing after their Peterborough & District League fixture last Saturday was abandoned following claims of racial abuse.
The Division Two game against Stilton was brought to a halt by referee Paul Gale after 40 minutes, although it is understood he did not hear or witness anything offensive himself.
But allegations of ‘monkey gestures’ aimed at Stilton player Ali Nyang by a group of spectators supporting Eunice subsequently appeared on social media.
Stilton player, Kev Holt posted on Twitter on Saturday night: “Absolutely disgusting today, game abandoned for ‘monkey gestures’ at our player Ali.
“Eunice Huntingdon FC were good about it in some aspects, just a shame about the crowd they have.”
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And former St Ives Town and Huntingdon Town striker Stuart Eason, who now plays for Stilton, also shared on social media: “One of their (Eunice) players said to me ‘leave Ali at home next game and it wouldn’t happen again’.
“Absolute disgrace. Maybe I shouldn’t put that on here but it needs to be heard.”
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However, a statement from Eunice Huntingdon - issued to the Hunts Post late last night by club official Bartlomiej Wrubinski - contained a strong denial.
It read: “In connection with appearing in the local press due to accusations of racist behaviour of some spectators at Saturday’s match between the team Eunice Huntingdon and Stilton, the club feels obliged to rectify.
“The club categorically condemns any behaviour that strikes any nationality, colour or religion, but categorically denies that such events took place during our last match.
“The match was interrupted after a clear intervention by the coach of the visiting team who insisted on the players to leave the pitch.
“It is worth adding that he was on the opposite side of the pitch to the supporters and the referee clearly indicated that no offensive gestures came to him.
“Eunice wants to point out that the match was properly secured in accordance with the league regulations and is ready to cooperate fully with the FA in order to clarify the incident, however to date it has not received an official position from the league in connection with the incident.”
The league did release a statement of it’s own yesterday in which it said incidents of the alleged nature must be stamped out of the game.
It read: “No player, spectator, manager, match official or club/league official should ever be subjected to any abuse of any sort,”
“Any such incident is fully investigated by the respective county football association with all information received by the league passed on to aid any investigation.
“There is no room in the game for this type of behaviour and working together we need to address it and remove it.”
The Hunts FA are looking into the allegations, telling the Hunts Post: “We can confirm that Hunts FA is investigating an alleged incident that took place on Saturday 16 March 2019 during a fixture between Eunice Huntingdon and Stilton United.
“The Hunts FA takes all forms of discrimination seriously and recommends that anyone who is affected by any form of discrimination should report it to their county FA, the FA and Kick it Out.
“The Hunts FA will not comment any further until the outcome of the investigation has been reached.”
It’s the second incident of racial abuse involving a local club in the space of a fortnight.
An unnamed Eynesbury Rovers player was sacked following allegations of racism in their United Counties League Premier Division match at Leicester Nirvana on March 2.