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Forest Green fan faces lifetime ban after racist abuse delays Scunthorpe game

Referee John Busby was forced to halt the match midway through the second half.

Forest Green Rovers have acted swiftly in dealing with an incident of racist abuse during their game with Scunthorpe (Steve Parsons/PA)
Forest Green Rovers have acted swiftly in dealing with an incident of racist abuse during their game with Scunthorpe (Steve Parsons/PA)

By Ian Parkes, PA

Forest Green have threatened to take stringent action against a supporter following an incident of racist abuse during their Sky Bet League Two game with Scunthorpe.

Referee John Busby was forced to halt the match midway through the second half of Rovers’ 2-0 defeat at The New Lawn after Scunthorpe defender Jordan Clarke was allegedly abused.

Busby spoke to managers Mark Cooper and Paul Hurst before a stadium announcement was relayed to the crowd.

The fan involved was quickly identified and an investigation immediately launched, with that person set to be handed a lifetime ban by the club.

In a statement released to the PA news agency, director of communications Will Guyatt said: “We can confirm we are currently investigating a report of racist abuse from a single fan towards an opposition player.

“We will be talking to that person as soon as possible. We would like to make clear that the club does not tolerate racism, and the ongoing investigation will end with a lifetime ban if found guilty.”

Scunthorpe boss Hurst praised Forest Green for their handling of the incident.

He said: “I wondered what was going on initially and then the referee came over and said the fourth official had been made aware of a racist comment towards Jordan Clarke. The referee said there was no plans to stop the game at that time.

“I mentioned about an announcement, which later followed, and helped everyone in the stadium. There was then a lot of sympathy and understanding about halting the game.

Some of the Forest Green fans were singing towards the individual who made the comment that it is unacceptable Paul Hurst

“Some of the Forest Green fans were singing towards the individual who made the comment that it is unacceptable, and we all know that.

“Forest Green have been very good after the game, and reported it to the FA and if they find the individual he will be dealt with.

“Forest Green have had a lot of press for the way they do things. There is a lot of good that goes on here and I don’t think one individual reflects Forest Green. They have been excellent with their help and dealing with the situation.”

Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out also praised Forest Green, saying on Twitter it was “glad to see the swift and proactive action taken” by the club and offered its support to both teams.

Forest Green boss Cooper declined to comment on the incident.

PA

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