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Racist abuse allegation causes FA Cup tie to be abandoned

1:51 AM GMT+8 20/10/2019
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The incident occurred just five days after England's European Championship qualifier in Bulgaria was paused twice for racist abuse

The FA Cup qualifier between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town was abandoned on Saturday due to alleged racist abuse.

Boro players walked off the pitch in the 64th minute of the fourth-round qualifier, a few moments after conceding the opening goal of the game.

Following a lengthy delay, confirmation came that the match had been abandoned, with Boro's Cameroonian goalkeeper Douglas Pajetat allegedly a victim of abuse from some Yeovil supporters.

The goalkeeper had objects thrown at him from the stands and was reportedly spat at, before Boro's coaching staff instigated the walk-off.

A statement from the home side on social media confirmed alleged racist abuse was the reason for the abandonment.

"Sorry for the late update but wanted to make sure we gave correct information," Boro's Twitter post read. "Game has been abandoned following racial abuse. Horrendous afternoon.

"It must be said that 99.9 per cent of Yeovil Town fans are also disgusted by what's happened as much as we are. One club, one community."

Players from both teams then returned to the pitch in what Yeovil described as "a show of solidarity".

The incident came at the end of a week when racism within football was at the forefront of the conversation, with England's Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria twice stopped due to abuse from the stands.

UEFA charged Bulgaria in the aftermath of Monday's match, referencing chants and Nazi salutes that were caught on camera.

Bulgarian Football Union president Borislav Mihaylov resigned after being urged to stand down by Bulgarian prime minister Boyko Borissov.

Head coach Krasimir Balakov, who initially claimed not to have heard the abuse before apologising, later also quit, although his departure was attributed to "unsatisfactory" performances.

Premier League clubs again promoted their "No Room for Racism" campaign at matches this weekend, with images on big screens, advertising hoardings and pitchside flags at matches across the country.

The campaign, in conjunction with the FA, the EFL, PFA and anti-discrimination group Kick It Out, reviews how incidents can be investigated and offenders punished. It is also looking at ways of making it easier for fans to reports incidents of racism to the authorities.