Hartlepool United launch probe into racist abuse allegations while opponents Ebbsfleet United could face a serious punishment themselves

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For the second time this season, Hartlepool United are facing allegations of racist abuse.

Saturday’s 1-0 defeat against Ebbsfleet United at Victoria Park was tarnished by two separate allegations of racism and xenophobia from two visiting players.

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The club have urged supporters to come forward with any evidence as they could potentially face another racism charge if sufficient proof is found.

Referee Aaron Jackson shows Ebbsfleet United's Ayo Obileye a red card after the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Ebbsfleet United at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 7th March 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)Referee Aaron Jackson shows Ebbsfleet United's Ayo Obileye a red card after the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Ebbsfleet United at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 7th March 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News)
Referee Aaron Jackson shows Ebbsfleet United's Ayo Obileye a red card after the Vanarama National League match between Hartlepool United and Ebbsfleet United at Victoria Park, Hartlepool on Saturday 7th March 2020. (Credit: Mark Fletcher | MI News) | Other 3rd Party

Pools were found guilty by the Football Association earlier this season for failing to ensure their spectators refrained from using abusive and/or insulting words and/or behaviour, which included a reference to race and/or colour, during their 2-0 home defeat to Dover Athletic.

The punishment was decided by an independent regulatory commission in January, with Hartlepool being charged £7,500 – £5,000 of which is suspended until the end of the 2020-21 campaign providing they are not found guilty of another offence.

Aside from the allegations, a mass confrontation involving both sets of players, staff and Pools mascot H’Angus the Monkey after the full-time whistle saw Ebbsfleet defender Ayo Obileye and Hartlepool manager Dave Challinor shown straight red cards by referee Aaron Jackson.

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Both clubs could now face FA charges of failing to control their players.

This would be a blow for Pools but could spell real trouble for relegation-threatened Ebbsfleet, given their own track record.

The Fleet have reportedly been fined a total of £36,850 by the FA since the start of last season for seven separate breaches of rule E20 (a) – ‘failing to ensure that its players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion’.

The Kent outfit were fined £8,000 (£6,000 suspended) for their players’ conduct in the 2-2 draw with Hartlepool at the Kuflink Stadium back in November.

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An FA commission threatened the club with a points deduction earlier in the season for their ‘truly appalling’ record in continued breaches of rule E20 and ‘doing very little to deal with the poor behaviour of its players’.

Investigations into Saturday’s events are still ongoing.