STATEMENT: Enough is Enough! Time for lifetime bans for racists in football as Kennington man allegedly uses racist slur towards referee

Sunday 01st March 2020



It’s time for The Football Association to issue life bans to part-time players and management staff who are found guilty of using racist slurs towards opposing players or match officials.

Referee Peter Agboola was disgracefully subjected to alleged racist abuse from a Kennington representative underneath the main stand and in the dressing room area at the Croydon Sports Arena, which forced the half-time abandonment of the Southern Counties East Football League First Division game between Croydon and Ashford based side Kennington, which was goal-less at the time.

I bumped into one of the match officials at Bromley South train station, on my way home from reporting on Bromley’s 1-0 defeat to Sutton United yesterday, and he informed me that a Kennington man used the words “black c***” towards the referee, as both teams made their way to the dressing rooms as the stadium was hit by a hailstorm.

The shocked referee decided that he couldn’t carry on with doing his job and called for the game to be halted.

The League have issued their copy and paste statement and will receive the referee’s report and the Football Association and County FA’s will investigate too, which is normal procedure.

There appears to be a racial issue in the two divisions of the Southern Counties East Football League and it needs stamping out, immediately!

If found guilty, any player or management staff that uses racist slurs towards anybody else on the pitch – must face a lifetime ban from playing football and go through the judicial system.

The same should be said for any supporter watching from the sidelines.

Nothing seems to be done about racism in tiers nine and 10 of English football, it seems to be brushed underneath the carpet!

Issuing statements on racist abuse is not the answer. It doesn’t do anything. It’s weak. Action must now be taken!

The League statement said: “The Southern Counties East Football League are aware of reports of racial abuse at the game between Croydon and Kennington on Saturday 29th February 2020, which was subsequently abandoned.

“This matter will be now investigated as per normal procedures by the appropriate county FA and it would be inappropriate for the League to comment or take any action while those investigations are being conducted.

“As a League, however, we again would like to say that there is absolutely no place for racism in football in any way, shape or form.”

If footballers can face bans for placing bets on football matches – despite the English Football League and Isthmian League, Southern League and Northern Premier League are being sponsored by betting firms - then I demand that even longer bans are dished out to racist people who bring shame on our beautiful game.  It is unacceptable! It is a disgrace!

This isn’t the first time that racist abuse has tarnished the good name of the Southern Counties East Football League this season either.

A Kennington Football Club statement said: "Regarding the incident during our game yesterday, there will be a full and thorough investigation by the club and until the full facts are known we will not be making any further comments.

"People are quick to assume, what I do know is Kennington FC does not and will not accept any form of racism throughout the football club."

Stephen McCartney
Sunday 1 March 2020