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A Peterborough League football match was abandoned yesterday (March 16) after allegations of racial abuse by spectators watching the game.
Division Two champions Stilton United were playing at Huntingdon-based Eunice FC, but the match was brought to a halt by referee Paul Gale, a serving police officer, after ‘monkey gestures’ were apparently aimed at Stilton player Ali Nyang.
Stilton player Kevin Holt tweeted last 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.”
Another Stilton player Stuart Eason also tweeted, claiming: “One of their 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.”
Stilton officials and referee Gale have confirmed reports will be sent into the league and county associations.
The Peterborough Telegraph understands Stilton players heard ‘monkey noises’ aimed at Nyang after the ball had run out of play. They told Gale who called a halt to the game in the 40th minute as confrontations between players fom both teams started to develop. It’s understood Gale didn’t hear any offensive words or sounds.
Stilton assistant manager Paul Burnage said: “It was a competitive game between two good sides, but my players were incensed by what they heard. On such a windy afternoon it would have been difficult for the referee to hear anything, but I agreed with his decision to abandon the match.
“The safety and welfare of my players was my priority. Luckily we have a great bunch of lads who have made sure Ali is fine.”
Eunice were leading 1-0 at the time of the abandonment.
A Peterborough League official said: “No player, spectator, manager, match officail or club/league official should ever be subjected to any abuse of any sort.
“All incidents are fully investigated by the respective county football associations. All information received by the League will be passed onto the relevant county FA for them to investigate.
“There is no room in the game for this type of behaviour and working together we need to address this and remove this sort of behaviour from the game.”
Eunice should have been taking on Stilton in the final of the Peterborough Junior Cup in May, but they have been thrown out of that competition after fielding an ineligible player in their semi-final win over Premiair.
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Euince have yet to comment on yesterday’s events.