Cup final abandoned as Wymeswold FC walk off over racist abuse claims

Wymeswold FC Reserves (in blue) and Cosby line up before kick-off. Picture: Leicestershire and Rutland FA EMN-190404-144030002
Wymeswold FC Reserves (in blue) and Cosby line up before kick-off. Picture: Leicestershire and Rutland FA EMN-190404-144030002
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Leicestershire and Rutland FA are investigating allegations of racist abuse from the crowd which caused a county cup final to be abandoned on Wednesday evening.

Wymeswold FC Reserves walked off in unison after 78 minutes of the County FA’s Saturday Vase final against Cosby United, citing racist comments from a spectator aimed at striker Linford Harris.

In a post on Twitter, Harris said: “So sorry to witness and suffer such racism in this day and age, thanks everyone for the support.

“Appreciate everyone standing behind me. WE ARE ALL EQUAL. #SayNoToRacism.”

The County FA, who hosted the match at their Holmes Park headquarters, in Leicester, is asking for eyewitnesses of the incident to come forward.

They also want statements from stewards and match officials before ruling on the outcome of the match.

A spokesman said: “We ask that anyone who was present at the match to provide their observations by email to info@leicestershirefa.com

“Leicestershire and Rutland County FA will investigate all allegations related to this game and take the necessary discipline action.

“As this is now an ongoing investigation we will not be able to comment any further.

It has been reported that anti-racism football campaign Kick It Out has made contact with the Wymeswold striker with a view to beginning an investigation.

The incident comes hot on the heels of the targeted racist abuse of black England players by Montenegro fans at their latest international.

It led to debate over whether teams should walk off, or referees abandon matches, under those circumstances in future matches.

Other Leicestershire clubs were quick to express their support for the walk-off and the Wymeswold forward following the final.

Among them were Wymeswold’s North Leicestershire League rivals Asfordby FC Development.

Cosby, who were winning 1-0 at the time, and rebuffed allegations that the spectator accused was a follower of their club.

Their statement read: “Following last night’s abandonment, the club will support the FA in anyway possible. This club does not condone racism.

“Comments/abuse made to the club overnight that the individual is a Cosby supporter are wide of the mark.

“Good luck to @FCWymeswold for the rest of the season.”

Leicestershire Police said no reports were received about the allegations last night, but they have been in touch with the county FA and will make further enquiries if the matter is officially reported to them in the coming days.