A Wessex League fixture had to be abandoned at the weekend after players from the visiting team allegedly directed obscene ‘racial’ abuse towards Island players and supporters.
The match between East Cowes Vics and Alton FC at Beatrice Avenue had been largely free of unpleasant incidents until the closing stages of the game.
In the 87th minute, Alton scored to give the away side a 1-3 lead. One of the Alton players is alleged to have shouted “inbred c***ts” at the home supporters in the stand during the goal celebrations. The incident was reported to the referee by the East Cowes Vics management, but no action was taken against the alleged offender.
A minute later, an Alton player fell to the ground on the far side of the pitch. On being told to get to his feet by an East Cowes Vics official, the Alton player allegedly repeated the obscene insult and advanced towards the official in an aggressive and threatening manner.
An East Cowes player intervened in an attempt to protect the official, which led to an altercation between the 2 sets of players and a red card for Vics captain, Ryan Gregory. In the confusion caused by a mass brawl and the subsequent abandonment of the game, it is unclear as to whether any Alton players were also red-carded.
The entire Alton bench (management and substitutes) rushed across the pitch to join in the confrontation, whereas the Vics management team remained stoically on the sidelines.
Following the altercation, the Vics players walked off the pitch, a decision supported by Vics manager, Richie Woodburn, who believed that his players “had had enough”.
The match was then abandoned. As three-quarters of the game had already been played at the point of abandonment, the result will stand as a 1-3 victory for the away side.
Most of the incidents described were witnessed by Wessex League results secretary, Lee Bray, who was present in the stand throughout the game.
It is believed that a report has been sent to the appropriate authorities with regard to what may be regarded as racially aggravated language directed towards Islanders allegedly used by members of the Alton team.