Two men are in custody today after being arrested by police investigating reports of racist abuse during Saturday’s abandoned FA Cup tie between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town.
The men – aged 23 and 26 – were arrested in Chard and Yeovil on Monday morning by officers from Avon and Somerset Police on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault.
The Metropolitan Police is leading the investigation in to events at the fourth qualifying round clash at Coles Park in north London.
It was officially abandoned just over half an hour after the Isthmian League hosts walked off after they were reported to have been subjected to racist abuse and objects were thrown on to the pitch.
Haringey Borough manager Tom Loizou led his players off and described the alleged incident as “very distressing”. He later told BBC Radio 5 Live: “If we get punished and thrown out, I don’t care.”
In a show of unity, they were followed by Darren Sarll and his Glovers who were leading 1-0 on 64 minutes through a Rhys Murphy penalty at the time.
The Glovers later tweeted their support before releasing a statement saying they “will not accept racism or discrimination in any form” and would be “cooperating with the authorities and our friends at Haringey”.
— Yeovil Town FC (@YTFC) October 19, 2019
The incident occurred four days after England’s Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria was halted twice as fans were warned about racist behaviour.
It was not an isolated one over the weekend but one of several with investigations underway into the behaviour at Bristol City fans in the away section at Luton Town and claims that Rangers striker Alfredo Morelos was racially abused by Hearts supporters on Sunday in the Scottish Premiership.
The Football Association confirmed they were investigating the abandonment as a “matter of urgency” soon after the story broke on Saturday and started making headlines around the world, from the front of Sunday’s NLP in the UK to The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia.