This sort of stuff shouldn’t be happening and the people doing it should be brought to light, says footballer racially abused on a Kent school football pitch

Saturday 21st September 2019

DOVER ATHLETIC right-back Aaron Simpson says the racism that his team-mate Inih Effiong suffered at Hartlepool United needs to be talked about.

The 22-year-old says Effiong was subject to racist abuse at Victoria Road as Andy Hessenthaler’s side came home with a 2-0 win in the Vanarama National League.

Simpson revealed his disgust at the incident saying on his Twitter account that it is “2019 and this is still going on.”

Simpson added:  “In all my life I have never experienced anything like that on or off the pitch.

“Fans having banter with players and giving them stick is one thing but when there is racial abuse and money chants involved it needs to be talked about.

“Massive respect to all the players on both teams for sticking together and dealing with the situation like professionals.

“I hope that The FA take serious action and the fans get lifetime bans because there’s absolutely no place for it in the game.”

Dover Athletic issued their statement on Sunday.

"The Board, Management and Players of Dover Athletic FC stand together, shoulder-to-shoulder against Racism. Racism has no place in our society, full stop.

"Dover Athletic FC promotes inclusivity and does not tolerate any form of discrimination.

"This is not the first time that our players and staff have had to contend with racial abuse during a National League fixture.

"The latest events at Hartlepool yesterday where inexcusable and we will support the authorities in any way we can to help bring the perpetrators to justice. 

"We will also be submitting our own reports to the National League and Football Association.  We firmly believe that action needs to be taken – to demonstrate that the football family DO consider this type of intolerance to be completely unacceptable.

"Incidents of this nature cannot be ignored, too often excuses are used to downplay such events and to even pass blame back to the victim – this cannot stand!

"At Dover we are One Team and will support each other and in particular the players and staff effected by yesterday’s events, through this difficult time.

"We are strong together and will continue to fly the flag for inclusivity and respect for all."

Mark Maguire, the chief executive at Hartlepool United, said in a statement posted on their club website:  “I can honestly say that I have never witnessed a game of football like that, but it is important that we separate our reaction to the game, and the officials, to the events following Dover’s first goal.

“Whatever the rights and wrongs of the decision, or the aftermath to the penalty which was scored, Hartlepool United utterly condemn racist behaviour of any description.

“We are a proudly inclusive as a Club, and we know that the vast majority of Pools fans will join us in standing up against words and actions which have no place in football or society.

“As I understand it, in this, the early stages after the event, individuals have been identified and will be dealt with in the strongest possible manner by both the Club and police.

“Equally, I personally spoke to the people on the receiving end of the abuse, assuring them that we would take the necessary action.

“We also made a public announcement at half time, setting out our condemnation of such behaviour, whilst I also spoke with the Chairman of Dover to offer my apology.

“As a Club we will protect the principles held by the vast majority of our fan base who would be insulted by their reputation being tarnished in this manner. In these type of circumstances actions speak louder than words and we will be judged accordingly.

“On days like today, Directors, Management and staff of both clubs have a responsibility to stand up and be counted, and we have no hesitation in reacting in the strongest possible manner.

“Of a completely separate nature is any concern surrounding events on and off the pitch during and immediately after the game, and we will deal with this accordingly with the appropriate authorities.”

Hartlepool United’s celebrity fan Jeff Stelling, of Sky Sports fame, said on Twitter: ”Ashamed of the fans who disgraced themselves and Hartlepool United today.  It does not matter who they play for, racist abuse of any sort is disgusting. Makes me feel sick.”

This isn’t the first time that racist abuse has come from the terraces as Cray Wanderers’ centre-half Mitchell Nelson was subject to “monkey” chants at the end of his side’s 5-1 win at Bishop’s Stortford last Tuesday in the Isthmian League Premier Division.

And on the same night, a Phoenix Sports player, whose identity has been kept secret by his club, was called a “black c***” by an opposing East Grinstead Town player, who was sacked by the Isthmian League South East Division club the next morning.

Ryan Mascoll, meanwhile, was playing for Bromleians Reserves in the Kent County League Division Three West this afternoon and revealed on Twitter that he too suffered racist abuse during his game – in the bottom tier of English football.

“Racism has no place in football,” said the defender, who had to come off the pitch as the abuse got to him that much.

“So it’s disappointing to suffer racial abuse in my Kent County League game against Greenways Aces.

“I’m mentioning the team involved because this sort of stuff shouldn’t be happening and the people doing it should be brought to light!”

Ryan’s brother Jamie is a former player at Charlton Athletic and Dulwich Hamlet and is now playing for League One side Wycombe Wanderers.

Opponents Greenways Aces responded to Mascoll’s Tweet, claiming he was a “sore loser,” after Mascoll’s side lost the game 1-0, which was played at a school on Cedar Road.

“Please contact the police or Kent FA for a proper investigation,” said the Gravesend based club.

“This is a serious allegation, one in which we haven’t had the opportunity to defend ourselves fairly, with you publicly announcing this to try and damage our reputation.

“We are a multi-cultural club with coaches and players from all ethnic origins,” the club told Mascoll on social media.