Clubs release statements after Guiseley v Gateshead nearly gets called off after a player was racially abused on Saturday afternoon.
The 2-2 draw was marred when a fan hurled sickening taunts towards the Guiseley striker Gabriel Johnson, with ChronicleLive claiming the 23-year-old was called an ‘albino’.
The home side deserve their lead but the visitors have plenty to offer. The atmosphere has been soured by an unsavoury incident, referee issued a warning that the game would be abandoned if there was a repeat of racial abuse after a comment seemingly aimed at a Guiseley player. pic.twitter.com/efxdq26CU6
— Ian Whiting (@whiting_ian) February 22, 2020
Gateshead condemned the slur and a club spokesperson said: “Racism and discrimination of any kind is abhorrent, and has no place whatsoever within football and society as a whole.
“No individual should travel to the sanctuary of a football match only to be subjected to such vile and inexcusable abuse.”
Guiseley v Gateshead nearly gets called off after the referee stopped the game in the first half due to a complaint from the forward.
Both managers were talked to and an announcement made through the PA system that the game would be scrapped if the abuse continued.
The National League fixture played on and now Gateshead confirmed the ugly incident has been reported to the FA.
A Gateshead spokesperson added: “Gateshead Football Club vehemently condemns racist and discriminatory abuse, and swift yet strong action will be taken if necessary.
“Gateshead Football Club is proud to welcome individuals from all walks of life, and we will not stand by and allow incidents such as this to mar our sport.”
Guiseley said in a statement: “Guiseley AFC would like to publicly state that they condemn the incident of racist abuse that occurred in the 29th minute of Saturday’s match against Gateshead FC.
“The incident was brought to the referee’s attention, after continuous repetition of the same phrase towards the same player. Unfortunately, during the post-match meeting with the referee, he was informed of other incidents of repetitious abuse towards another Guiseley player. Both the player and the referee followed the correct FA protocol and both the reported and unreported incidents are logged in the referee’s report.
“We pass our thanks on to the officials, players, and benches of both teams for their positive handling of this issue. The Directors of Gateshead FC were made aware of the incident.
“The club strongly suspect that the abuse came from a visiting spectator but unfortunately in an unsegregated fixture and without a witness identifying the culprit we were unable to get the offender arrested. We advise anyone who may have heard the abuse to contact either club in the strictest confidence.
“If we, as fans and supporters of the club, truly wish to stamp out this heinous stain on football we need to make a stance. Rarely is a racist comment made in isolation, frequently they are repeated, lack of censure emboldens the bigot. If you hear any racist abuse, be it to a player, official or supporter report it immediately to a member of club staff and we will take the relevant action.
“We at Guiseley AFC pride ourselves on being a welcoming friendly club, let us collectively make it a positive place for everyone to enjoy their sport.”
Fans took to social media after Guiseley v Gateshead nearly gets called off…
Well said. After the owners hard work to save the club, the last thing we need is for the reputation to be tarnished by some idiots. If any other fans overheard these comments, I urge you to get in touch with the club.
— Michael (@MickScully7) February 24, 2020
Leroy from what I'm hearing from a lot of lads who were there, they were as shocked as anyone to hear the tannoy announcement themselves, the larger majority.of fans behind the goal said, they never heard anything. If its found true, I hope whoever it is gets a life ban.
— Mickey The Heed Fan (@HeedFan) February 24, 2020
Horrendous that this vile practice has worked its way in to such a welcoming and friendly club like Guiseley. It seems no level of football is safe.
— Mike (@__Michael_Prior) February 24, 2020
— Sam Huby (@SamHuby1) February 24, 2020
Hopefully the fan will be found and banned. No room for that in life never mind football.
— Christopher Fowler (@csfcrinan) February 24, 2020