Mum takes Doncaster junior football racism row to the FA
The FA is investigating allegations a boy aged 11 was racially abused in a Doncaster junior football match after a police probe brought no charges.
The boy’s mum, Adele Thaxter, has asked the FA to investigate after the police said they ‘have yet been unable to identify a perpetrator’ after racist abuse was reported during a children’s match between Edlington White Stars and Hyde Park Knights in April.
Edlington White Stars put out a statement on Friday saying they had been cleared, but Ms Thaxter says police simply did not have enough evidence for a prosecution following an investigation.
The statement has subsequently been taken off social media by the club.
The allegation involved the use of the N-word and P-word against Ms Thaxter’s son, Lucas, now aged 12, by adults and children.
She said: “I see the club’s statement as a missed opportunity to address the issue, and I don’t feel it conveys a very good message. This could have been an opportunity to educate people about how wrong and unacceptable racism is.
"I would have liked an acknowledgement of that happened and an apology.
"I’m proud that people involved with Lucas’ team have spoken out about this.
"I would like to see the FA to step in.
"I’m grateful for the support and respect the police showed to Lucas.”
She believes it is important racism is challenged and hopes the response to what happened to Lucas will pave the way for other victims to challenge it and speak out about it.
"It’s not OK and the culture of ‘sweeping under the carpet’ needs to change,” she said.
“And I’m really happy with the response and support from the Hyde Park Knights, the public, the police and FA and collectively I feel we have been able to challenge the issue of racial discrimination and systematic racial issues in football.”
Edlington White Stars said in their statement that the allegation had been investigated by the club and police and had ‘been found innocent and have no case to answer’. It said they had waited until the investigation was completed before releasing a statement.
It added: “As we are an award winning Charter Standard Club, we are responsible for setting standards and values to apply throughout the club at every level, we will not tolerate harassment, bullying, abuse or victimisation of any individual, this includes sexual or racially based harassment or other discrimatory behaviour whether physical or verbal.
“We would like to thank all our players/parents and officials for supporting each other and the club in order to follow correct procedures.”
Rob Wharton, senior administator at the Sheffield and Hallamshire County FA said: “We are aware of the incident and the matter is being investigated.”
A statement from South Yorkshire Police today said: “We received a report of an alleged incident of racially aggravated harassment on 10 April.
“It was reported that during a youth football game, offensive language was directed a player.
“Extensive enquiries have been carried out by officers who have spoken to multiple witnesses and explored numerous lines of enquiry.
“Despite thorough investigation, we have yet been unable to identify a perpetrator in relation to this incident.
“We would encourage anyone with further information to contact us.”
Edlington White Stars have been approached for further comment.