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FA to investigate allegation of racist abuse by a supporter during Chesterfield's friendly with Bradford

The pre-season fixture at Chesterfield was halted in the first half after alleged racist abuse by a supporter toward Bradford substitutes, with Mark Hughes describing the comments as "an absolute disgrace".

A general view of Chesterfield FC's ground, the Technique Stadium.
Image: Chesterfield's friendly against Bradford was halted in the first half

The FA will investigate an allegation of racist abuse by a supporter during Chesterfield's pre-season friendly with Bradford on Saturday.

There was a break in play in the first half of the pre-season fixture at the Technique Stadium, with reports suggesting a supporter in the home end had made a comment to Bradford substitutes.

Chesterfield say the supporter denied accusations of racism and left the stadium voluntarily after stewards and police officers spoke to the fan.

Bradford boss Mark Hughes said the alleged comments were "an absolute disgrace".

He told the Telegraph and Argus: "I wouldn't call the guy a supporter if I'm honest. What the players were saying he said was an absolute disgrace.

"You can't have that whether it's a pre-season game or a kickabout on a school field. You've got to get rid of any kind of racism and questioning people's skin colour is just unacceptable."

Striker Vadaine Oliver said: "In this day and age, we should be past this. It's not Chesterfield as a club or the fanbase. You get idiots in every group and it's sad to see."

A Chesterfield club spokesperson said: "After being made aware of the alleged comment, stewards and police officers spoke to the fan in question, who denied the accusation and left voluntarily.

"Witness statements have been taken as part of an investigation and, if necessary, appropriate action will be taken.

"Our club and Community Trust does a lot of work around anti-racism and racist comments at our stadium will not be tolerated."

Mark Hughes, Manchester United
Image: Bradford boss Mark Hughes condemned the incident during the pre-season friendly

Bradford issued a statement on Sunday which read: "Bradford City AFC is working alongside Chesterfield FC and The FA - and will assist with police enquiries - after racist abuse was directed towards City players during yesterday's match at the Technique Stadium.

"In the first half of the pre-season contest, City substitutes were subjected to discriminatory remarks, and a spectator in the home stand subsequently left the stadium after play was suspended for a period.

"Following the game, the incident was formally reported to the match officials, with all parties involved now taking the matter further to ensure the individual concerned faces the strongest-possible action."

City's chief executive officer, Ryan Sparks, said: "I spoke at length last night with the players subjected to the disgusting slurs from a spectator in the home stand. We understand Derbyshire Police are investigating the situation, and we will assist accordingly.

"I would like to thank Chesterfield's chief executive, John Croot, who has been extremely supportive since the incident. I am confident the individual will face the strongest-possible consequences, as a result of his repulsive actions.

"These events are a reminder of the amount of work that still needs to be done, in order to remove this kind of behaviour from society. There is absolutely no place for it, and we will continue to do everything in our power to protect any member of our staff from discrimination.

"Our players have our full support, and we stand shoulder to shoulder with them in collective attempts to eradicate all forms of discrimination."

Sky Sports News has contacted Derbyshire Police for comment.

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