Following an incident in which Adebayo Akinfenwa claimed to have been the subject of racist abuse from a representative of Fleetwood Town, claiming that he was repeatedly called a ‘fat water buffalo’ during last season’s game, the FA have investigated and since cleared Fleetwood Town of any wrongdoing.
The remark was made, according to those interviewed, but has not been deemed racist by the FA after an investigation.
Fleetwood Cleared of Any Wrongdoing
Fleetwood have since released a statement, which reads: “Fleetwood Town acknowledge the result of a Football Association investigation in relation to an alleged breach of FA Rule E3(2) by an employee during the Sky Bet League One play-off game against Wycombe Wanderers in July.
The club have co-operated fully in regards to the matter and welcome the decision of the FA and in particular the independent expert’s conclusion that the employee’s comments were not objectively racist.
“As a club we operate a no tolerance approach in regards to discrimination of all kinds and continue to support the EFL’s Not Today or Any Day campaign which encourages behavioural and attitude changes at all levels of football.
“We will make no further comment on the matter.”
Statement from the FA
“The witness accounts all confirmed the use of the term “water buffalo” or “buffalo”. However, some witnesses did not consider the term to be discriminatory and did not consider it to have been used in a discriminatory manner.
“Others were unsure whether the term was discriminatory. Some witnesses stated they did consider the term to be discriminatory. The match officials confirmed that they had received no complaint regarding the comment either during or after the game and so the discrimination protocol had not been enacted.
“Both match officials confirmed that the alleged term had been used. One of which confirmed it was during a dialogue between himself and a member of FTFC during which the member of FTFC was describing the actions of the WWFC player.
“Both match officials confirmed that they had not interpreted the words to be discriminatory in either nature or context which was why no red card had been issued to the member of FTFC.
“The member of FTFC accepted using the alleged words but denied that they were used in a discriminatory context and were instead used to describe the player’s actions.
“The member of FTFC stated they had been aware that the WWFC player had a nickname of ‘The Beast’ and seen before the game on social media that he had not been able to train and so was potentially out of shape.”
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