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Football club investigating alleged racism against player

The alleged racist incident against a player happened at Merthyr Town’s home ground, Penydarren Park, on Monday  (Alamy Stock Photo)
The alleged racist incident against a player happened at Merthyr Town’s home ground, Penydarren Park, on Monday (Alamy Stock Photo)

A football club is investigating after an opposition player was allegedly racially abused during a home match.

South Wales side Merthyr Town were playing Hungerford Town in the Southern Football Premier South on Monday when the incident happened.

Berkshire club Hungerford accused a section of the home crowd at Penydarren Park of racially abusing its defender Ramarni Medford-Smith.

Danny Robinson, Hungerford’s manager, said it was “absolutely unforgivable” for a player to be “racially abused in 2024”.

“I should have been stronger because I don’t think we should have come out for the second half,” he said in an emotional post-match interview.

“I wouldn’t have blamed him [Medford-Smith] for storming off but we were in constant dialogue with him and he wanted to play on.

“It has marred a wonderful performance by a top side.”

Merthyr Town FC’s board convened an emergency meeting on Monday night to ensure the matter was “addressed” as soon as possible.

The club said it condemned any form of racism and urged anyone who witnessed the abuse to contact them.

“As a community club, Merthyr Town FC does not tolerate, and condemn in the strongest terms possible, any form of racist or homophobic behaviour,” it said in a statement.

A spokesperson for Hungerford Town said: “Hungerford Town FC strongly condemns racist, sexist and homophobic abuse of any kind.

“Sadly, one of our players was the subject of racist and abusive language at yesterday’s match at Merthyr Town FC.

We are actively assisting the match officials and Merthyr Town in investigating the incident and the home club’s attempts to identify the perpetrator(s).

As a club we stand shoulder to shoulder with our manager and our players.

“They have our full support, and we will continue do our utmost to help drive this abhorrent and unacceptable behaviour out of football,” the spokesperson added.

The Welsh Football Association has been approached for comment.

South Wales Police said it had not received a complaint about the incident.

During the 2022/23 football season, anti-racism group Kick It Out received a record 1,007 reports of discriminatory behaviour.

Racism was the most common form of discrimination in both professional and grassroots football, accounting for just under half of all reports.