Bradford City issue statement after alleged racist incident during Chesterfield match
Bradford City say they are ‘confident’ a Spireites fan will face the ‘strongest possible consequences’ following an alleged racist incident in Saturday’s pre-season friendly.
The match at the Technique Stadium was halted for several minutes midway through the first-half after an incident appearing to involve a person sitting in the home end in the West Stand and three Bantams substitutes who were warming-up on the touchline.
The fan, according to the Spireites, denied the accusations and left the ground voluntarily.
Chesterfield, Derbyshire Constabulary and the Football Association are all investigating the matter.
City’s chief executive officer, Ryan Sparks, said in a statement on Sunday: “I spoke at length last night with the players subjected to the disgusting slurs from a spectator in the home stand. We understand Derbyshire Police are investigating the situation, and we will assist accordingly.
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“I would like to thank Chesterfield’s chief executive, John Croot, who has been extremely supportive since the incident. I am confident the individual will face the strongest-possible consequences, as a result of their repulsive actions.
“These events are a reminder of the amount of work that still needs to be done, in order to remove this kind of behaviour from society. There is absolutely no place for it, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect any member of our staff from discrimination.
“Our players have our full support, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with them in collective attempts to eradicate all forms of discrimination.”
The incident was formally reported to match officials after the game, which Chesterfield won 3-0.
The Spireites said in a statement after full-time: “After being made aware of the alleged comment, stewards and police officers spoke to the fan in question, who denied the accusation and left voluntarily.
“Witness statements have been taken as part of an investigation and, if necessary, appropriate action will be taken.
“Our club and community trust does a lot of work around anti-racism and racist comments at our stadium will not be tolerated.”
Bradford boss Mark Hughes was understandably angered by the incident.
“I wouldn’t call the guy a supporter if I’m honest,” he told the Telegraph and Argus. “What the players were saying he said was an absolute disgrace.
“You can’t have that whether it’s a pre-season game or a kickabout on a school field. You’ve got to get rid of any kind of racism and questioning people’s skin colour is just unacceptable.”
And Bantams striker Vadaine Oliver added: "In this day and age, we should be past this.
"It's not Chesterfield as a club or the fanbase. You get idiots in every group and it's sad to see."