Manchester

Wythenshawe Town abandons game after linesman's 'racist' comments

Wythenshawe Town FC Image copyright Wythenshawe Town FC
Image caption Wythenshawe Town FC

A football club chairman said he was "disgusted" a linesman who directed racist comments at a player has been allowed to keep officiating.

Non-league Wythenshawe Town brought its players off the pitch following the incident in January.

Chairman Chris Eaton said the club faced charges of "bringing the game into disrepute" for taking a stand.

Manchester FA said it was not its "practice" to suspend anyone unless the charges relate to assault.

Wythenshawe Town plays in the First Division South of the Hallmark Security League and was losing a match against rivals Rylands, 3-0, when the alleged incident happened.

The match was abandoned on 26 January after the linesman, who has not been identified, made the comments which were heard by four players in the dugout and the first-team manager.

Mr Eaton said the comments were directed at one of the club's black players and were "indefensible".

The manager complained to the referee, who spoke to the official but he decided to take his players off the pitch shortly afterwards.

Image caption Chris Eaton says a linesman used racist language against one of his players

Mr Eaton said he chose to speak out after seeing footage of the linesman officiating a game on Friday.

He told the BBC he had seen a statement signed by the official concerning the language he used which was "without question of a racist nature".

"And we've been threatened with action being taken against us, in terms of fines, for bringing the game into disrepute for taking our players off," he said.

Mr Eaton said a double standard was being applied, as people would expect him to evict supporters who made racist comments.

"What difference does it make if they are wearing an FA badge? I don't understand it," he said.

"Respect works both ways, it must do," he added.

A spokesman for the Manchester FA said charges were issued following an investigation and the case was now with the FA.

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