FA Cup: Haringey Borough players walk off after keeper racially abused by Yeovil fans

19 October 2019, 16:58 | Updated: 20 October 2019, 03:49

Haringey Borough walked off the pitch during an FA Cup tie against Yeovil Town after their goalkeeper suffered "horrendous" racial abuse from some away supporters.

The home side were led from the field of play by manager Tom Loizou in the 64th minute after Valery Douglas Pajetat had objects thrown at him while preparing to face a penalty.

Pajetat, from Cameroon, told BT Sport he had been racially abused and spat at before facing the spot kick, which after a long delay was converted by striker Rhys Murphy.

The fourth qualifying round match was abandoned soon after with the score at 1-0.

Haringey Borough tweeted: "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."

The players returned to the pitch some time after the incident "as a show of solidarity".

Ben James, a Haringey fan who was at the game, said: "Valery 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. The Haringey players seemed pretty agitated."

Football anti-racism charity Kick It Out praised the "swift and decisive action" taken by Haringey.

In a statement on Twitter, it said: "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."

Haringey Council also tweeted: "No place for hate in our borough. One community."

An FA spokesman said they were "deeply concerned" about reports of racism at the match, adding: "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."

It comes just days after England stars were subjected to monkey chants and Nazi salutes by Bulgaria supporters during a Euro 2020 qualifying match in Sofia.

The abuse directed towards the likes of Tyrone Mings and Raheem Sterling saw the match halted twice before the visitors eventually ran out 6-0 winners.

After the game, Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate said that his players were "hardened to racism", "because of experiences in our own country".

UEFA charged the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) with four offences: racist behaviour, the throwing of objects, disruption of the national anthem and replays on a giant screen.

Police also raided the headquarters of the BFU and its president, Borislav Mihaylov, resigned from his post after being ordered to by the country's prime minister, Boyko Borissov.

Manager Krasimir Balakov also quit his post.

There have been a number of high-profile racism incidents in English football in recent times, including Sterling being abused by Chelsea fans during a match at Stamford Bridge last season.

Several players from Manchester United star Paul Pogba to Chelsea youngster Tammy Abraham have also been targeted with racist abuse on social media.

It prompted a meeting between senior football officials and Twitter last month over what can be done to crack down on racist abuse.

Recent incidents prompted Leicester City captain Wes Morgan to say racism in football is a bigger problem now than when he first started his playing career.