Lancashire FA issues statement on Padiham FA fine for anti-racism protest

Following public uproar at Padiham FC being fined for leaving the pitch in protest after goalkeeper Tony Aghayere was allegedly radically abused, The Lancashire Football Association have released a statement explaining that while both clubs were charged with "alleged misconduct", The FA will publish reasons for the fines in due course.

The Lancashire FA have released a statement. (pic credit: The Lancashire FA Twitter)
The Lancashire FA have released a statement. (pic credit: The Lancashire FA Twitter)

The incident in question took place last October during a North West Counties Football League match between Congleton Town and Padiham FC when alleged racial abuse directed towards Aghayere prompted then-Padiham manager Liam Smith to take his players off the pitch an hour into the game. Padiham were subsequently fined £165 for abandoning the match.

Conversely, Congleton Town were fined just £160 for the alleged abuse, which according to Smith was heard not only by Aghayere and other Padiham players but by numerous Congleton players as well, prompting an uproar and leading Smith to brand the fines "spineless" and "hypocritical" given football's avowed no-tolerance approach to racism.

In response to the incident, the Lancashire FA said: "Following the Congleton Town FC v Padiham FC game on 6th October 2018, both Cheshire FA and Lancashire FA have carried out a joint investigation resulting in a charge for both clubs of alleged misconduct under FA Rule E20.

"The matter was subsequently heard by an Independent Regulatory Commission convened by The Football Association (The FA)," the statement continued. "Written reasons will be published by The FA in due course and both clubs would have had the opportunity to appeal the outcome/s.

"All County FAs continue to work hard – both independently and collectively – on tackling any forms of discrimination within the game. We encourage all participants and clubs to continue to report incidents and actions that fall into the categories of discrimination or racist abuse, so we can work together on eradicating it completely from the game."

The incident has come to light once more after the issue of racism in football was once again brought to the fore following the abhorrent racial abuse suffered by England internationals Danny Rose, Raheem Sterling, and Callum Hudson-Odoi during a 5-1 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Montenegro in Podgorica last month. Nineteen-year-old Juventus striker Moise Kean also suffered monkey chants in a Serie A match away at Cagliari.

Both Kick it Out and Show Racism the Red Card have been contacted for comment.