The FA investigate ‘disgusting’ chants by Yate Town fans towards Yeovil Town players during last weekend’s FA Cup First Round tie.
The Football Association are investigating a complaint from the National League side that two of their players received “discriminatory abuse” from the hosts’ fans.
The incident reportedly happened throughout last Saturday’s encounter at Lodge Road, with a section of the 1,600 crowd aiming abuse at Yeovil players Adi Yussuf and Grant Smith.
This came as the Glovers attacked the Fox Pub End during the first half, with the side winning the tie 5-0.
Bristol Live say they was aware of vile references to Yussuf’s mother, who was in attendance, and also cries of, “we want you to die” being heard at the game. Goalkeeper Smith was subject to similar abuse when defending the goal in the second-half.
Speaking about the incident, Yeovil manager Darren Sarll said on Thursday: “We’re going through a process with the FA. There were a couple of reports from witnesses that there may have been some prejudice and some discrimination and also some hate.
“What people think is okay to say to another human now has gone bonkers. It is disgusting. I don’t want to say what was said because that’s for the FA and the governing bodies to nail down but it’s not nice.
“If someone said that to me, as a human being, forget about being a football manager or employee of Yeovil Town, I’d want to stick one right on the end of their hooter.
“The world’s getting crueller, becoming more vindictive and the punishment for these things is becoming easier and lighter. And the way we develop values and a moral compass in our young people is not the same from when I grew up.
“We cannot instil respect, sometimes fear and keep people on the right path because we’re not allowed to.
“It’s a shame because Yate, the manager, and the players, conducted themselves in a fantastic fashion it’s just a shame we’ve had some reports of hate and maybe discrimination in the terraces and it does always take the shine off of it.”
Yate Town’s usual gate at Lodge Road, aka South West Interiors Stadium for sponsorship reasons, is a few hundred but the arrival of Yeovil – two divisions above, a local rival and in the tie drew a number of non-regular fans to the ground, swelling the crowd considerably.
The first audible moments of abuse came shortly after Yeovil took the lead in the 7th minute.
Yussuf was involved in a tussle in the box which came to nothing but ended up being the victim of boos and chants for the remainder of the game with no other player receiving the same level of attention.
The abuse continued after the game when Yussuf was pitchside with his family. Yate fans leaving the ground were heard singing abusive chants within metres of the player.
When contacted, Yate Town said they were unaware of any incident or complaint but promised to fully investigate the matter once they have received clarification from the Football Association.
Sarll is also worried for Yussuf and Smith with the manager admitting the episode has brought back uncomfortable memories and thoughts around the death of captain Lee Collins, who took his own life earlier this year at the age of 32 after struggles with addiction and depression.
“This club should know better than anyone what mental health can do to an individual, and it is a terminal illness at certain points,” Sarll added as the FA investigate ‘disgusting’ chants by Yate fans towards Yeovil players. “But no one learns, and no one learns because there’s no consequence to not learning.
“So these people say these horrible things to really nice people – good dads, members of their community just earning a modest living – and they think they can behave in such a way.
“For a manager who’s dealt with an individual with terminal mental health issues, how does that individual feel that evening, the next day and the days leading up to the next game? That becomes an anxious moment for me because we’ve seen the worst of it.”
Yeovil will now play MK Dons or Stevenage in the second round with the tie selected by the BBC to be broadcast, earning the club £60,000.
— Andy TurnbullKirk (@atkirk2) November 11, 2021