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Scots under-14 football team walk off pitch after alleged racist abuse of player

Scottish youth football bosses are probing an alleged racist incident at an under-14 game which saw one side walk off the pitch and abandon the match.

Members of the Motherwell FC Community Trust’s 2008 age group marched off after alleging their team-mate had been racially abused by an opponent.

The abuse allegations were made during their 11-a-side game against Syngenta FC held in Falkirk last Saturday.

The Scottish Youth FA (SYFA) has now launched an investigation into events to decide whether “disciplinary action” would be taken.

It said it took a “zero tolerance approach to any form of discrimination”.

But Syngenta said the club had already conducted its own internal investigation and was “fully satisfied that there is no case to answer”.

Campaigns have sought to drive racism out of football.

The match was understood to have been a Scottish Cup tie between Syngenta and the Motherwell outfit at Falkirk’s Graeme High School.

After kicking off at 11.30am, it’s understood the mass walk-off took place in the second half.

It was claimed one Motherwell player had been “racially abused” by a Syngenta team member.

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A source said: “The Motherwell team walked off after incident but their coach spoke to them at the side of the park for a good five to ten minutes in relation to the abusive comment to ensure they were aware of how unacceptable such conduct is and to ensure the boys were OK, particularly the boy who was abused.”

In April, a Spanish La Liga game at Cadiz was temporarily halted after Valencia walked off the pitch in protest at alleged racist abuse of one of their players.

Players from Scotland and England took the knee before their Euros clash this summer in solidarity with the anti-racism message.
Players from Scotland and England took the knee before their Euros clash this summer in solidarity with the anti-racism message.

The team went down the tunnel with the game at 1-1. After the Valencia players held a meeting, they returned to the pitch to continue 20 minutes later.

The previous month Scotland’s assistant manager Steven Reid said players with the national side would be supported in walking off the pitch if subjected to any form of racist abuse.

A Scottish Youth FA spokeswoman said: “The SYFA is aware of an incident which is alleged to have occurred at a recent match.

“We are currently taking the appropriate steps to gather the required information to determine whether disciplinary action is required.

“The SYFA takes a zero tolerance approach to any form of discrimination and treats any reports of this nature extremely seriously.”

A spokeswoman for Syngenta said: “We are aware of the allegation, it has been thoroughly investigated by the club, and we are fully satisfied that there is no case to answer in this instance.

“As a club, we abhor any form of racist abuse, and as winners of the SFA’s Central Region’s Positive Play Awards, we fully support and promote the actions against racism taken in football by the SFA and SYFA.”

Motherwell Community Trust were approached for comment but didn’t respond.




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