Two men have been arrested after incidents of alleged racist abuse led to an FA Cup match between Haringey Borough and Yeovil Town being abandoned on Saturday afternoon.
The fourth qualifying round match at the home of the Isthmian League Premier Division side was tainted by reports of racially charged incidents involving home goalkeeper Valery Pajetat and teammate Coby Rowe.
Projectiles were reported to have been thrown at the keeper, who also reported being spat at, while Rowe was reportedly subjected to vile racist abuse from the stands. In the 64th minute, home manager Tom Loizou decided enough was enough, and pulled his players off the pitch.
Sorry for the late update but wanted to make sure we gave correct information.— Haringey Borough FC (@HaringeyBoroFC) October 19, 2019
Game has been abandoned following racial abuse. Horrendous afternoon.
It must be said that 99.9% of @YTFC fans are also disgusted by what’s happened as much as we are.
One club, one community.
The match was then abandoned by the referee, and the BBC report that two men, aged 23 and 26, have been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated common assault.
It's unclear as yet if the game will be replayed or if Haringey will forfeit their place in the competition, but manager Loizou stood by his decision - saying that progress in the competition pales in comparison to the need to protect his players.
"It's very distressing. The abuse a few of my players got was disgusting," he said, as quoted by the Evening Standard.
"We've worked hard all week, had a great experience in the FA Cup last season and a silly two minutes has taken everything away from us. It wasn't consistent throughout the game. They got a penalty and as they were lining up to take it, my goalkeeper got spat at and had a bottle thrown at him.
"The referee managed to calm things down, they took the penalty and then my number six - Coby Rowe - got called names. He got racially abused and there was no way I could let him continue.
"The FA Cup's not worth that much to us. We are never going to win it. Good luck to Yeovil Town if we get punished and thrown out. I don't care."