Police investigate alleged racist abuse at Hartlepool United match
Cleveland Police are investigating an incident at Hartlepool United during which players were supposedly racially abused.
The initial half of Pools’ 2-0 National League defeat by Dover in Victoria Park on Saturday was delayed by 11 minutes as a result of an exchange between players – like the home team Gus Mafuta – and – spectators after Inih Effiong had opened the scoring with a 37th-minute penalty.
A police spokesman said:”Cleveland Police is investigating these allegations.
“The drive works with soccer clubs across the nation, as well as the wider community, to reinforce this sort of behaviour is totally unacceptable. If it does happen, we take strong action utilizing all available tools, including football banning orders.”
Although the two sets of players needed to continue dover manager Andy Hessenthaler revealed after the game opposite number Craig Hignett had been in agreement and also that he was ready to take his crew.
Hignett later told Pools TV:”That has got no place here, we certainly don’t condone it.
“Racism not only does not have any role in soccer, but it has no part in life, so if that is the case, then those people have to be managed and handled severely because that’s not us like a soccer club.
“We are a really inclusive club, but when there are mindless individuals, then they will be addressed in the strongest possible terms.”
Chief executive Mark Maguire insisted frustration at events on the pitch was no excuse for the reaction off it although hignett was delivered into the stands during a game that saw Pools lose Nicky Featherstone along with Ryan Donaldson to red cards.
Maguire, who showed that he’d spoken to the victims of the abuse and assured them that the strongest possible action would be taken against the perpetrators, stated:”I will honestly state I have never witnessed a game of soccer like that but it is essential that we separate our response to the game, and the officials, into the events after Dover’s first objective.
“Whatever the rights and wrongs of the decision or the wake to the punishment which was scored, Hartlepool United utterly prohibits stereotypical behavior of any description.
“We are proudly inclusive as a club and we are aware that the vast majority of Pools fans can join us in position against words and actions that have no position in football or society.”