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King's Lynn FC fan ejected for racism but 'false accusations' made during Derbyshire fixture

A football fan was ejected from King's Lynn Town Football Club's stadium for racist remarks this month according to the club's chairman.

Speaking in his programme notes ahead of The Linnets' FA Cup fixture against Alfreton Town on Tuesday, Stephen Cleeve said racism has "no part in the club".

He said a fan was ejected from The Walks during the league fixture against Alfreton on Tuesday, September 3.

Stephen Cleeve, chairman of King's Lynn Town FC
Stephen Cleeve, chairman of King's Lynn Town FC

Then during the first FA Cup replay against Alfreton last Saturday, Lynn fans were accused of racism, something Mr Cleeve denied on this occasion.

Mr Cleeve wrote: "At the home game against Alfreton there was a racist incident which led to the perpetrator being ejected from the stadium.

"However frustrated you get you cannot use someone's skin colour as a weapon to attack them with.

The Walks stadium
The Walks stadium

"It is very important to me that The Walks is a hostile place to come, but racism must play no part in it and we must respect all religions and races.

"Having said all of that, I was very disappointed that the Health and Safety office at Alfreton accused our fans of making racist comments on Saturday."

The chairman said The Linnets' own safety officer, Jamie Farr, was present at the FA Cup match in Derbyshire, and enquiries found there were no racist remarks by Lynn fans that day.

Mr Cleeve continued: "If people make false accusations of racism it makes dealing with actual cases very difficult for us as a club.

The Walks football ground
The Walks football ground

"Fans can feel that they are being victimised, which creates a culture that is not positive and, if anything, works against stamping out racism.

"If one of our fans had been racist at Alfreton, given the stewarding requirements for the game, why was the fan not ejected at the scene of the crime?

"Why did the Health and Safety Officer at Alfreton not do anything about it?

"I will take a hardline stance against racism, but equally I will not accept anyone making up stories against our fans as if they are some kind of crazy vendetta."

PC Lee Anderton, community engagement officer for Lynn, said he had no records of the fan being ejected from the stadium from the league game at the start of September.

King's Lynn Town FC's supporter policy states everyone entering the stadium is expected to behave in an appropriate manner at all times.

It also states: "The club will not tolerate racist, violent, threatening, abusive, obscene or provocative behaviour or language and will take the strongest possible action against conduct that falls short of our expectations.

"If you experience issues with supporter behaviour in your area of the stadium, please contact one of the stewards."

The Walks, home of King's Lynn Town Football Club
The Walks, home of King's Lynn Town Football Club

A safeguarding statement for the football club adds: "At King's Lynn Town Football Club we aim to provide a safe and welcoming environment for everyone. We take our responsibilities in this respect very seriously.

"Everyone visiting our stadium or who is involved with the club has the right to feel they have been treated with equality, dignity and respect."

A spokesman for King's Lynn Town FC said there were no incidents reported to the club or stewards before, during or after the FA Cup replay with Alfreton on Tuesday night.

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