Cambridge issues bans after fans booed players taking a knee

"Conclusions reached by the Cambridge United board range from education and support without any ban through to bans to the end of the season with season tickets refunded. Diversity and inclusion will continue to be at the heart of what we stand for"

Boos were drowned out by applause at Cambridge as they and Colchester took the knee ahead of their match.
Image: Boos were drowned out by applause at Cambridge as they and Colchester took the knee ahead of their match

Cambridge United have banned a section of the fans who booed players taking a knee during their home game against Colchester on Tuesday, others will have to attend education courses before they are allowed to return.

Boos could be heard in the Abbey Stadium ahead of the League Two fixture as the players knelt in support of the fight against racial injustice and discrimination, although they were quickly drowned out by applause.

The club say they have judged each case separately and have banned a small number of fans until the end of the season, with their season ticket payment refunded.

Other fans will have to take education and discrimination lessons before they are permitted to return to the ground.

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Cambridge United chief executive Ian Mather condemned fans who booed the players taking a knee ahead of the game against Colchester United

A statement read: "The Football Club can confirm it has taken action with respect to a very small number of fans after the Colchester United game in light of their behaviour when players took the knee.

"Each case has been looked at separately by a sub group of the board chaired by Shaun Grady with Dave Matthew Jones and Godric Smith with individuals given the opportunity to explain their actions.

"Conclusions reached by the board range from education and support without any ban through to bans to the end of the season with season tickets refunded. Diversity and inclusion will continue to be at the heart of what we stand for as a Football Club and we will be making no further comment about the incident."

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Supporters booing players who chose to take a knee ahead of kick-off followed similar events at Millwall and Colchester earlier this month, with both clubs condemning the fans who did so.

Cambridge United chief executive Ian Mather was quick to speak out against the actions on Wednesday.

He told Sky Sports News: "[I'm] incredibly frustrated, angry. There were only a few people booing, but one was too many.

"We worked really hard to get the fans in and it's behaviour we don't want here.

"The message to our fans is: that behaviour is totally unacceptable. We don't want it here. We will decide on the appropriate sanctions, we will identify the right people and we will take action.

"There are terms of entry into the Abbey Stadium, as with any other stadium. We can determine what behaviour's acceptable and not.

"Identifying them is actually quite easy. Somebody actually sent me a direct message on Twitter last night explaining his views, and others have been identified in other seats. So finding them is actually not very hard."

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