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FA Cup clash abandoned due to alleged racist behaviour of fans

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(Reuters) – An English FA Cup fourth qualifying round match between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town was abandoned on Saturday due to the alleged racist abuse suffered by Haringey’s players.

The match was stopped in the 64th minute with Yeovil leading 1-0 following a Rhys Murphy penalty after some fans abused and spat at Cameroonian goalkeeper Douglas Pajetat at Coles Park, the BBC reported.

Haringey boss Tom Loizou led the hosts off the field shortly after the goal was scored and the match was eventually abandoned around 35 minutes later.

“Game has been abandoned following racial abuse. Horrendous afternoon,” Haringey said on Twitter.

Haringey manager Loizou said another of his players, Coby Rowe, was also targeted.

“It’s very distressing. The abuse a few of my players got was disgusting,” Loizou told BBC Radio 5 live. “They got a penalty and as they were lining up to take it, my goalkeeper got spat at and had a bottle thrown at him.

“Then my number six — Rowe — got called names. He got racially abused and there was no way I could let him continue.

“The FA Cup’s not worth that much to us. We are never going to win it. Good luck to Yeovil Town if we get punished and thrown out, all be it, I don’t care.”

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll told the BBC that his club would offer full support to Haringey.

“The players and I decided we would support (them) and make a stand together… I want Haringey and our football club to know we don’t condone anything of that nature,” Sarll said.

“I’d do anything to win but there are certain levels and lines I’d never go over. There was no way I’d support racial discrimination.”

The incident comes days after England’s black players were subjected to racist abuse during a Euro 2020 qualifier against Bulgaria in Sofia on Monday.

Bulgaria boss Krasimir Balakov and football union president Borislav Mihaylov both resigned in the wake of the match while police in the country have already made several arrests.

(Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru, editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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