FOOTBALL - Droitwich Spa's fixture against Wednesfield abandoned after incident in second half - The Droitwich Standard

FOOTBALL - Droitwich Spa's fixture against Wednesfield abandoned after incident in second half

Droitwich Editorial 14th Aug, 2023 Updated: 14th Aug, 2023   0

DROITWICH Spa’s weekend fixture against Wednesfield was abandoned following an incident in the second half of the Midland Football League Division One fixture.

The incident took place in the 67th minute with Wednesfield alleging that spectators made racial remarks towards some of their players in the dugout area.

Wednesfield players notified the officials before leaving the pitch and Droitwich’s board of directors released a statement in relation to the incident.

The statement reads: “Droitwich Spa FC condemn all forms of discrimination and will deal with individuals concerned in the strongest possible manner and would like to firmly reiterate our zero tolerance policy towards racism or discrimination of any kind.

“An incident occurred at yesterday’s Midland Football League Division One match played between Droitwich Spa FC and Wednesfield FC, which resulted in the match being abandoned in the 80th minute.

“This followed a comment from a spectator to a substitute warming up on the sideline. As a club we support positive action to highlight unacceptable behaviour.

“No one should be subjected to abuse whilst playing football and any form of discrimination or racial abuse is completely unacceptable.

“We unreservedly apologise to the Wednesfield FC player the comment was directed at.

“We do also have to acknowledge the welfare and safeguarding aspect of the young supporter involved in the incident and will be establishing the full nature and intention of the comment directed at the player, and ensure they have the understanding the impact comments can have.

“We would also like to apologise to all individuals left upset and traumatised at the events at the ground yesterday.

“Players, coaches, match officials and volunteers deserve to feel safe on the field of play, and around the football ground. Safe from physical attack, but also safe from abusive and discriminatory comments that cannot be tolerated.

“Attending matches does not give the right to direct abuse that would not be acceptable in any other environment.

“This needs to be dealt with at Droitwich Spa FC and across football.

“The football authorities had representatives at the match, and Droitwich Spa officials met with them following the conclusion of the game.

“We will continue dialogue as the full facts are established and will follow any guidance going forward.

“Finally, football is a wonderful sport. It brings communities together, can be played by individuals of different abilities, and should be a cause for good.

“We cannot allow incidents and circumstances like those witnessed yesterday to be repeated which negatively affects our own players, staff and volunteers, and that of our visitors.”

A spokesperson for Worcestershire FA said: “Worcestershire FA has received a report of alleged discrimination during this fixture and has opened an investigation.

“Discrimination has no place in football or society and we treat all allegations of such abhorrent behaviour very seriously.

“We know that discrimination can affect an individual’s mental health, sense of well-being and have wide ranging negative impacts not only on that individual, but on others around them.

“Therefore, in conjunction with The Football Association, we provide an offer of dedicated support to victims of discrimination.

“As this is an ongoing investigation, we will make no further comment at this stage.”

Wednesfield released the following statement: “We as a club were involved in an incident at our away fixture against Droitwich Spa.

“The incident was racial remarks from spectators towards our players who were in the dugout.

“We as a club do not condone this behaviour and made a stand against it by notifying the officials before acting on the matter.

“We chose to leave the field as a team to make a stand against the comments to which the players and club officials were booed.

“This has no place and cannot be tolerated in any walk of life or let alone in sport.

“It is now time that the FA and governing bodies and local county FA’s start to support and take action against these individuals.

“We feel that with events that happened at their last home fixture something could have and should have been done to prevent today’s outcome from Droitwich Spa Football Club.

“The Droitwich players and staff were in support and understood our decision why we chose to leave the field of play to which we are grateful for because that is the kind of united approach we need to take to prevent this happening again in the future.”


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