National League round-up: Two arrested following reports of racist abuse during FA Cup clash between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town as match abandoned and replay scheduled

The racism storm surrounding English football took another shameful turn over the weekend as Haringey Borough’s match at home to Yeovil Town was abandoned following allegations of racist abuse.

Monday, 21st October 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Monday, 21st October 2019, 5:56 pm
Handout photo taken with permission from the Twitter feed of View From the Ninian during the FA Cup fourth qualifying round match between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town at Coles Park Stadium, London. PA Photo. Issue date: Saturday October 19, 2019. Haringey Borough’s players walked off the field, forcing the abandonment of their FA Cup qualifier with Yeovil, after making allegations of racial abuse, the club have said on their Twitter account. See PA story SOCCER Racism. Photo credit should read: @ViewFromTheNin/PA Wire. NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Two men aged 23 and 26 have been arrested under suspicion of racially aggravated common assault and remain in custody with the investigation ongoing.

The incident involving Haringey goalkeeper Valery Douglas Pajeta and teammate Cobie Rowe took place shortly after Yeovil striker Rhys Murphy converted from the penalty spot.

Pajeta claimed he was spat at, stuck by a bottle and subject to racist abuse and chanting from the Yeovil section of the crowd.

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The match was abandoned after Haringey manager Tom Loizou took his team off the field. The match will be replayed at Haringey on October 29.

Chairman Aki Achillea told BBC Sport: "I am of the view that we had no choice. We could not carry on and play football.

“I provided the FA with a video [in which] I have identified a comment of a racist nature directed to our players. It seems to tie in, timing-wise, with the moment when Cobie Rowe lost his head.

“I’m going to share it with police this morning, I’d be surprised if they didn’t have this footage already. I’m pleased by the arrests. The police have acted very quickly and liaised very closely with us.”

The incident comes just days after England players were subject to alleged racist abuse during their European Championship qualifier in Bulgaria and less than a month after Hartlepool United were the subject of similar controversy.