Two Men Arrested Over Racism That Forced FA Cup Qualifying Match Abandonment
The FA Cup qualifier between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town was abandoned after racial abuse.
The Haringey Borough players walked off the field due to racism. (Photo Credit: Reuters)
London: Two men have been arrested over alleged racist abuse that forced Saturday's FA Cup qualifier between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town to be abandoned.
Haringey manager Tom Loizou said defender Coby Rowe suffered racial abuse while Cameroonian goalkeeper Douglas Pajetat was also spat at.
Metropolitan Police said on Monday that two men, aged 23 and 26, have been detained on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault.
Both sides left the field after 64 minutes when Rowe and Pajetat were abused shortly after Yeovil took a 1-0 lead.
"I was angry and upset, so wasn't really paying attention to what else was going on around me, then I felt someone pull me and it was my manager," Rowe told the Daily Mail.
"He said, 'We are all going off, we are not playing any more'. Yeovil agreed and we left the pitch as one."
Haringey, who play in the seventh tier Isthmian League Premier Division, and Yeovil, who are in the fifth tier National League, are just the latest clubs to be caught up in a racism storm.
"We didn't want to go back out because our safety couldn't be guaranteed, but not just that. It was just out of our own pride and respect. We are not going to go out and play in front of people like that," added Rowe.
The incident occurred just five days after England's Football Association (FA) condemned the racist abuse suffered by their players during a Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria as "abhorrent."
That match in Sofia was twice stopped to warn supporters that the game would be abandoned if racist chanting did not stop, but the England players decided to play on and complete the game.
The FA said it is "deeply concerned" about the allegation and has launched an investigation and both Haringey and Yeovil have said they will co-operate with the authorities.
"If the stand we have taken helps other clubs and stops other people from being abused then it's all been worth it, whatever the personal cost to all of us," Haringey chairman Aki Achillea told the Guardian on Sunday.
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