FA Cup tie abandoned after reports of racial abuse at Haringey Borough v Yeovil

Douglas Pajetat
Cameroonian goalkeeper Valery Douglas Pajetat joined Haringey Borough from Margate in 2017

An FA Cup tie was abandoned after Haringey Borough's manager took his team off the field amid accusations of racism, bottle throwing and spitting.

Home keeper Valery Douglas Pajetat was reportedly spat at and hit by an object thrown from the Yeovil Town end.

Defender Coby Rowe was then "racially abused", according to Haringey boss Tom Loizou, who said "there was no way I could let him continue".

"If we get punished and thrown out, I don't care," he told BBC Radio 5 Live.

The match, played at non-league side Haringey's home ground Coles Park Stadium, was in the fourth qualifying round of the FA Cup, with the winner set to progress to the first round proper.

"It's very distressing," said Loizou. "The abuse a few of my players got was disgusting.

"Yeovil's players and manager were different class. Their team tried to calm their supporters down, they tried their best and they supported us - they said 'if you're walking off we're walking off with you'.

"I took the decision to take my team off and I don't want Yeovil Town to get punished for it. If we get thrown out of the FA Cup and they go through, there is no hard feelings there.

"I have not done it for any other reason than looking into my players' faces and seeing how distraught they were. They are not used to this."

The incident comes four days after England's Euro 2020 qualifier in Bulgaria was halted twice as fans were warned about racist behaviour, including Nazi salutes and monkey chanting.

In a statement issued on Saturday evening, the Football Association said it was "deeply concerned about the allegation of discrimination".

It added: "There is no room for discrimination in our game and we are working with the match officials and the relevant authorities, as a matter of urgency, to fully establish the facts and take the appropriate steps."

What actually happened at Haringey v Yeovil?

Visitors Yeovil, of the National League, were leading 1-0 through a Rhys Murphy penalty when the game was halted in the 64th minute.

There was a long delay for that spot-kick to be taken, with Haringey goalkeeper Pajetat reportedly initially struck by an object from the stands.

Shortly after Murphy scored, play was suspended as the hosts left the field.

About 35 minutes later, it was confirmed the match had officially been abandoned, with BT Sport reporting that Pajetat was both racially abused and spat at by visiting fans.

Isthmian League Premier Division side Haringey said on Twitter: "Sorry for the late update but wanted to make sure we gave correct information. Game has been abandoned following racial abuse. Horrendous afternoon.

"It must be said that 99.9% of [Yeovil] fans are also disgusted by what's happened as much as we are. One club, one community."

In a statement Yeovil said the club "will not accept racism or discrimination in any form" and that they will "be cooperating with the authorities and our friends at Haringey".

'We stand with Haringey' - Yeovil boss Sarll

Yeovil Town manager Darren Sarll told BBC Somerset: "On behalf of Yeovil Town, we fully support Haringey and we stand together.

"The players and I decided we'd support [Haringey] and make a stand together, and be stronger with togetherness.

"My head is in an absolute spin. I've gone through a situation I never hoped I'd go through.

"We, footballers and managers, get a lot of abuse but nobody should feel discriminated against when they come to play football.

"I'd do anything to win but there are certain levels and lines I'd never go over. There was no way I'd support racial discrimination.

"I feel we've done the right thing. I'm not going to feel anything other than proud for the way the players conducted themselves.

"Now the authorities will take care of what they need to take care of."

England and Aston Villa defender Tyrone Mings, who was racially abused in Bulgaria on Tuesday, praised Haringey's response and said: "Our country isn't perfect either."

The campaign group Kick It Out said in a statement on social media: "These reports of alleged racist abuse aimed at goalkeeper Valery Douglas Pajetat yet again means players are continuing to receive discriminatory abuse while doing their job.

"The Haringey manager and players took swift and decisive action as a result of the abuse, similar to that taken by the England team out in Bulgaria.

"Kick It Out has informed the FA and will support the club in identifying the offender(s) to ensure appropriate action is taken and strong punishment issued.

"We would also like to offer our full support to Douglas and all at Haringey Borough FC."

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 19th October 2019

  • ChesterfieldChesterfield1WrexhamWrexham1
  • Potters Bar TownPotters Bar Town1BarnetBarnet1
  • FyldeAFC Fylde6Peterborough SportsPeterborough Sports1
  • BarrowBarrow0Solihull MoorsSolihull Moors1
  • Bowers & PitseaBowers & Pitsea1Chichester CityChichester City2
  • BromleyBromley4AldershotAldershot Town3
  • Carshalton AthleticCarshalton Athletic2Dag & RedDagenham & Redbridge1
  • ChorleyChorley2Spennymoor TownSpennymoor Town0
  • DartfordDartford2KingstonianKingstonian3
  • EbbsfleetEbbsfleet United1WokingWoking1
  • HalifaxFC Halifax Town1HarrogateHarrogate Town2
  • GatesheadGateshead5ColneColne0

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