Police are to investigate a racist comment aimed at a player during Tuesday night’s EFL Trophy match between Exeter and Northampton.
It has confirmed they are looking at allegations put forward of the ‘discriminatory comment’ made to a black footballer.
The comment is said to have been aimed towards a visiting player from a member of the public and was reported to the referee at the time.
Fans were allowed through the turnstiles to attend the game at St James Park for the first time in 280 days.
— Daniel Clark (@HEDanielClark) December 8, 2020
An Exeter City spokesperson said: “The club works tirelessly to make sure that Exeter City is an inclusive and diverse club, and that St James Park is welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, identity, gender, sexual orientation or disability. Discrimination is not welcome at our club.
“Exeter City takes a zero-tolerance policy on this matter and the club is working with the Police, Northampton Town and the match officials to get a better understanding of the incident and take the matter further.”
A spokesperson for Northampton Town added: “Northampton Town Football Club are aware of an alleged discriminatory comment made by a supporter towards one of our players at Tuesday’s Papa John’s Trophy tie with Exeter City.
“This was reported by our player to the match referee in the correct way so the matter can be investigated and we will continue to support that process with both the authorities and Exeter City Football Club.
“The player concerned has the club’s complete support in this matter.”
An attendance of 714 were inside the Grecians St James Park on Tuesday night for the 2-1 defeat by the Cobblers in the Papa John’s Trophy.
Devon and Cornwall Police has now issued a statement.
It says: “Police are investigating report of a discriminatory (racist) comment being made to a black player with Northampton Town FC by a member of the public during Exeter City FC’s home EFL fixture verses Northampton Town on Tuesday 8 December.
“Specialist officers from Devon & Cornwall Police are working with both clubs and other partners to fully investigate the incident.”
What is even more frustrating is that the EFL even issued a ‘Not Today or Any Day’ statement before the kick offs.
They said: “Our position remains unchanged and we will continue to support the wishes of our Clubs’ players either on an individual or collective basis. We will facilitate the communication of the message that discrimination in any form is unacceptable and not welcome within our game or our communities – Not Today or Any Day.
“EFL players who have chosen to ‘take the knee’ before games or participate in similar types of initiatives are using their platform in front of millions across the world to make a statement about eradicating all types of prejudiced behaviour, encouraging attitudinal changes and creating unity.
“Players often receive widespread criticism and negativity for merely doing their jobs but here they are leading the way, trying to effect positive change and they should be applauded for taking a stand, showing solidarity and setting an example for others to follow.
“Football needs to support its players and we will.”
It came on the same night the Champions League group stage fixture PSG vs Istanbul Basaksehir game was halted then abandoned after a fourth official was accused of racism.
Tempers flared as a fiery debate happened on the touchline around the 15th minute mark into the game with tensions spilling over at the Parc des Princes.
PSG vs. Istanbul Basaksehir has been suspended as both teams walked off the field to protest alleged racial abuse by the fourth official toward Istanbul assistant manager Pierre Webo.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 8, 2020
Fans gave their reaction as police investigate a racist comment aimed at a player during Tuesday’s EFL Trophy match…
Really disappointing. We pride ourselves on being a welcoming club and for this to happen is just not right.
Sadly though there are some that are set in their ways who need to be educated that language like that is not tolerable, especially in this day and age. 😔
— Chris Sumner (@sumsECFC) December 9, 2020
— Andrew Morris (@cornwallmorris) December 9, 2020
That’s depressing. Apologies to the @NTFC player from all decent City supporters.
— Paul ECFC Sussex (@Paul_not_ecfc) December 9, 2020
Disgusting and hopefully they can identify the person and deal with them. No place for this in football
— Gary Parker (@gp6970) December 9, 2020
— Mathias La Pira (@PiraMathias) December 9, 2020
Let us down
— aaron.dodd (@aarondoddy1) December 9, 2020
What a shame to hear this .
— Anthony Beveridge (@anth_ecfc) December 9, 2020
Thanks to Exeter for taking this seriously. No room for racism in football or society, despite what some muppets would have you believe.
— deadmanonleave (@deadmanonleave1) December 9, 2020
That’s not good at all, first day fans are back and some low life loser does this. Disgusting
— PiDDY (@PiDDY__) December 9, 2020
I’m a Exeter fans it’s disgusting who ever did it and makes the rest off the fan base look bad when the majority of fans are well behaved hope they player is okay
— Liam windsor (@nikkieastley) December 9, 2020
As a club sponsor of @OfficialECFC this saddens me and I am sure Exeter will do everything to sort this out. It’s shameful that people still act like this and it really doesn’t reflect on the vast majority of Exeter supporters.
— Gary Parker (@gp6970) December 9, 2020
— John (@VintageCobbler) December 9, 2020
Sorry to hear; I hope appropriate action is taken. This won’t get the publicity it deserves, given the ‘incident’ at the PSG game, but is no less serious.
— Rod Clifton MBE (@rodclifton1) December 9, 2020
Well done to the player for reporting it
— Eithne (@EnyaNTFC) December 9, 2020
Seriously in this day and age
— mr teynsend (@ian_townsend) December 9, 2020
And I hope the so called supporter gets a lifetime ban from all football
— Chris Ball (@Chrisball72C) December 9, 2020