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Clubs working together following abuse allegation

OFFICIALS at Stratford Town and AFC Telford United are working together following allegations of racial abuse aimed at a player in Saturday’s match between the two sides at the Arden Garages Stadium.

Play was held up late in the game when Telford defender Orrin Pendley claimed that he heard racial abuse from the crowd. The referee, Neal Templey, spoke with an official from Stratford Town and stewards were sent to the area before play resumed.

A statement from Telford, who won the game 3-0, said: “AFC Telford are aware of an allegation of racial abuse aimed towards one of our players at the Stratford Town game last Saturday and can confirm that we are in discussions with The FA and Stratford in regards to this.

Play is halted during the Stratford Town v AFC Telford United match on Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson
Play is halted during the Stratford Town v AFC Telford United match on Saturday. Photo: Mark Williamson

“As a club, we fully support our players and operate a zero tolerance towards any kind of abuse. Racial abuse is intolerable; it is a stain on our game and our society, and we are proud of our player making a stand, as well as those teammates who supported him and the match and club officials who responded.

“We should also stress that we recognise that these were the actions of an individual and not reflective of Stratford Town Football Club, neither their players, officials or the vast majority of their supporters. We will be making no further comment on the matter until a full investigation has taken place.”

An additional statement was issued by the Bards which read: “Stratford Town FC are aware of an alleged incident during the weekend’s game. We are reviewing this and we are working with the relevant authorities.

“We have a zero-tolerance approach towards all forms of discriminatory behaviour and will take the strongest action possible. Our club is an inclusive football club where everyone should feel safe and welcome.”

It is understood that the club has gathered witness statements from those in the vicinity at the time of the incident and that the referee’s report stated that he did not hear any abuse aimed at a player.

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