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Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham work with police to investigate reports of racist incident

Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham Town work with police to investigate reports of a racist incident during Saturday’s League One fixture.

This was reported to police by a steward during the second half of the game, with Avon and Somerset Police since stating that two males, who were sat in the away section of the Memorial Stadium’s East Terrace, had been ejected.

Investigating officers have now sent out an appeal while urging. They are urging those who heard or saw anything to get in touch.

Bristol Rovers said: Bristol Rovers are working with Avon & Somerset Police to investigate an alleged incident of racial abuse from within the away supporters’ section during Saturday’s Sky Bet League One fixture against Cheltenham Town.

We are working with both Avon & Somerset Police and Cheltenham Town to resolve this matter as soon as possible.about:blank

To support the ongoing investigation, Police are asking anyone with information to come forward.

Anyone who saw or heard anything which could help is asked to call 101 and provide the call handler with the reference 5223300697.

We are committed to removing and eliminating any direct or indirect discrimination of any form and combatting discrimination at all levels of the game and will, under no circumstances, condone unlawful discriminatory practices.

Bristol Rovers takes a zero-tolerance approach to discrimination, harassment, victimisation or bullying and will work tirelessly to identify, investigate and eradicate all forms of discrimination.

Cheltenham wrote: Cheltenham Town Football Club has a zero tolerance policy toward any form of discrimination and we will co-operate closely with the relevant authorities as required.

We must remind all supporters that an incident of racial abuse is classified as a hate crime. The police will carry out a full investigation that could result in a conviction and football banning order.

 Avon & Somerset Police said: An investigation is underway after we received a report of a Bristol Rovers player being racially abused at the weekend.

The matter was reported to one of our officers by a steward during the second half of Rovers’ home League One match with Cheltenham Town on Saturday 9 December.

Two men who had been among away supporters on The Memorial Stadium’s East Terrace were subsequently ejected from the ground by stewards.

Bristol Rovers and Cheltenham work with police to investigate reports of racist incident

Force football officer PC Mark Neal adds: “There is no place in society for racial abuse or discrimination. We are treating the incident as a hate crime and we’ll work with both clubs to fully investigate what happened.

“The player was spoken to by an officer immediately after Saturday’s game. We have also notified the Professional Footballers’ Association too.

“We’d ask anyone with information about what was said or who was responsible to please come forward.”

Anyone who saw or heard anything which could help is asked to call 101 and provide the call handler with the reference 5223300697.

If you can help, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5223300697, or complete our online appeals form.

You can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers 100 per cent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via their Anonymous Online Form.

No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will not go to court or have to speak to police when contacting Crimestoppers.

The game itself saw Jack Hunt produce second-half equaliser to cancel out Will Goodwin’s 28th minute opener to clinch a draw with bottom of the table Cheltenham Town.

“Incredible to witness that first-half so many mistakes,” said Rovers boss Matt Taylor, as per Bristol World. “So many moments where we were in control of our own game and then to see the difference in the second-half it was night and day.

“We turned what was a poor team at half-time into a much better team and an effective team in the second-half.

“We looked like we were going to go on and possibly get more out of the game than a point, but I’d snap your hand off for a point at half-time, that is how poor we were.

“We flipped Tuesday night’s performance in terms of a good first-half and poor second-half to what was tonight.

“We were slow with our game and I just felt once we were slow and a little bit stodgy. We were waiting for moments to appear and then all of a sudden you get a lot of things going through your brain and footballers can’t have too many thoughts going through their mind, because they become indecisive in terms of how they play and I thought that showed in the first-half.

“All we asked at half-time was that they take a bit of responsibility, play quicker, brighter tempo. Now no disrespect to Cheltenham they generally slowed the game down and almost the ball was dead. We can’t do that, we can’t wait for it to be on our terms and then wait for the nice moments in the game, we have to force the issue a little bit and I thought we did that in the second-half generally.

“The conditions are always difficult, that’s not an excuse in terms of that first-half performance. It was a big moment at half-time because you could sense the feel of the whole stadium was so frustrating and so disappointed, as we were and certainly the players needed picking up.”

Cheltenham boss Darrell Clarke said, as per GloucestershireLive: “The pleasing aspect for me is that the changing room is disappointed we haven’t won the game. That’s a good sign.

“I don’t think we handled the first 15 or 20 minutes of the second half very well and conceded a sloppy goal.

“Credit to the boys because they didn’t chuck in the towel, they didn’t roll over and we managed to get a little bit more impetus in the game.

“Probably a game of two halves, where a draw is probably a fair result.

“There was a swirling wind. I thought we played the conditions a lot better first half. We were good with our shape and we scored a good goal.

“Then second half, Rovers came back into it, which is disappointing from our aspect, but I’d have taken four points out of these three tough games we’ve had: Oxford at home, Charlton away and Bristol Rovers away. We keep going.

“Lloydy did brilliant and Goody gets another goal.

:Long may it continue, but we just keep working hard with the group, trying to claw teams back to us because as we keep saying, we are playing for snookers after the first quarter of the season.

“I can’t ask for more from the lads, in terms of effort, determination and grit. We keep working hard on the training pitch to keep trying to find a way to win games.

“We knew they probably couldn’t play as badly as they did first half. I thought there was going to be a reaction.

:I didn’t think we did very well in that first 20 minute spell. Then we had a change of shape and we seemed to get a bit more control after that.

“It’s pleasing the lads in the changing room are disappointed we haven’t won the game and that’s a good sign, in my opinion.”

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