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Police investigation into racial abuse at FA Trophy semi-final

ROAD TO WEMBLEY: Josh Coulson celebrates his goal that made it 2-1 on the day. Picture: Garry Griffiths

Police are actively investigating reports of racial abuse and objects thrown at members of Leyton Orient’s players and staff during their FA Trophy semi-final at AFC Telford United.

Orient won 3-1 on aggregate to secure their place in the final at Wembley, but the second leg at the New Bucks Head Stadium was marred by crowd trouble.

AFC Telford moved quickly to address the issue and in a statement, said: “In light of recent posts on social media, AFC Telford United can confirm we have received several reports over the weekend informing us of a number of incidents that took place on Saturday both inside and outside the stadium.

“We would like to thank everyone who provided us with statements and images.

“We can confirm we have also received several reports of an individual who directed racist abuse at an opposition player as well as several supporters who threw a number of objects onto the field of play above the away dug out. These incidents have been reported to the FA as they were picked up on the match officials report.

“As a football club we will not tolerate behaviour which brings our name into disrepute, and we are committed to taking action wherever we have evidence. We will also share information with the Police so that criminal proceedings can be considered.”

Telford Police superintendent Paul Moxley added: “We are actively investigating the events on Saturday including a report of racist comments being directed towards a Leyton Orient player.

“Such behaviour is totally unacceptable and I would appeal directly to those in the crowd on Saturday who heard or saw this to contact Telford Police and help us take action against the offender.

“With the help of genuine fans we will be in a positive position to deal robustly with the individual concerned and work to stamp out such abhorrent behaviour.”

Leyton Orient commented: “The Club can confirm a number of objects were thrown at members of the playing staff and backroom staff by members of the crowd during Saturday’s FA Trophy match against AFC Telford United.

“We are also aware of several reports of racial abuse directed at a member of our squad.

“We will fully support AFC Telford United and the relevant authorities with the investigation into these incidents.”

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