Linnets embroiled in race row after match
Police and football authorities have launched inquiries after trouble flared at the Lynn football ground during a top of the table clash this week.
Officers are understood to be working with King’s Lynn Town Football Club officials to identify a fan suspected of making a racist comment towards a Coalville Town player during the Evostik league game on Tuesday night.
Police are also investigating an incident in the players’ tunnel after the game, while the FA will be contacting both clubs and the Norfolk FA.
Linnets’ vice-chairman Jonathan Chapman said yesterday that the club would co-operate with any inquiry, but warned that talks would need to be held to decide whether Lynn fans are advised not to travel to the return fixture in the new year.
He said: “There is no place in football for racism and abuse of any kind, but we believe it is an isolated incident.”
He added that the club were pleased with how the game had gone compared to the last meeting between the sides 18 months ago, which was overshadowed by disturbancs.
And Supt Dave Marshall, who leads policing in West Norfolk, said: “The vast majority of Lynn spectators behaved impeccably.”
After the fixture, several members of the Leicestershire side used the social networking site Twitter to condemn Lynn fans , the club and police for what they claim happened.
One player, Cameron Stuart, alleged he and his colleagues had been racially abused, assaulted and spat at and called for the return match at Coalville on January 26 to be played behind closed doors.
And Mr Chapman said of the comments: “It makes me question whether to advise our fans not to attend the game. We’re going to discuss it between now and the game.
“We need to take particular care of our fans at home and away.”
The match was the first meeting between the sides since an ill-tempered FA Vase semi-final in April 2011, which was marred by crowd disorder and allegations of racist abuse.
A group of up to 20 visiting supporters were refused entry to the groundbefore kick-off.
There were then reports that a section of fencing at the hospital end of the ground was damaged during the first half, but claims that cars were also vandalised were later denied.
Just before half-time, Jerome Murdock appeared to kick the ball into a section of the crowd and later responded to criticism of his conduct by claiming he was racially abused.
Asked what intelligence there had been prior to the game to suggest there may have been disorder, Supt Marshall said: “None.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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