Padiham FC fined for walking off the pitch in stand against alleged racist abuse

Padiham FC have been fined £165 for taking their players off the pitch after their goalkeeper, Tony Aghayere, was allegedly racially abused in a fixture last year while their opponents were fined just £160, prompting Storks' Chairman, Shaun Astin, to ask "where is the justice?"
Padiham FC goalkeeper,TonyAghayere. (Credit: Andrew Sutcliffe)Padiham FC goalkeeper,TonyAghayere. (Credit: Andrew Sutcliffe)
Padiham FC goalkeeper,TonyAghayere. (Credit: Andrew Sutcliffe)

Padiham FC's North West Counties Football League fixture away at Congleton Town last October had to be called off after Aghayere, a former Burnley FC youth player, was allegedly subjected to racist abuse while his side were 3-0 down, prompting the side's manager, Liam Smith, to remove his players from the pitch.

Following the incident, both clubs attended a hearing at which Padiham FC were officially fined for abandoning the match, while their opponents - who condemned any alleged racial abuse at the time and reported the matter to Cheshire Police - were fined £5 less than Padiham for the actions of their supporters.

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"We decided to take our players off in a game because our goalkeeper was being racially abused," Tweeted Shaun Astin, Padiham FC's chairman earlier today. "We were fined £165; the offending club were fined £160. Where is the justice there?"

The issue comes off the back of England internationals Danny Rose, Raheem Sterling, and Callum Hudson-Odoi being subjected to racist abuse whilst playing in a 5-1 win over Montenegro in Podgorica as part of Euro 2020 qualifying last month. The English Football Association condemned the abuse, calling it "abhorrent" and "unacceptable at any level of the game."

During the match against Congleton, a number of the Padiham players' wallets "were emptied in the changing rooms" following a security breach, with a Congleton spokesperson at the time saying: "The club have reported an incident of alleged racial abuse and theft to Cheshire Police. The club takes this matter very seriously and is committed to working with the league on this matter."

The Lancashire FA have been in contact to state that they will be releasing a comment on the matter in due course.

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