We won’t tolerate racist abuse, say Pompey after cup clash

Reading's Nick Blackman, centre, at Fratton Park on Tuesday night   Picture: Joe Pepler

Reading's Nick Blackman, centre, at Fratton Park on Tuesday night Picture: Joe Pepler

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  • Reading player told referee he was subject to abuse
  • Club asking people who witnessed it to come forward
  • Chief executive says on the whole, Pompey fans are fantastic
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POMPEY’S chief executive has said racist abuse will not be tolerated at the club following an alleged incident at Fratton Park.

As reported in The News, Reading midfielder Nick Blackman told referee Gavin Ward that racial abuse had been directed towards him during the Capital One Cup victory at Pompey on Tuesday.

If it is proven that a racist comment has been made then that won’t be tolerated. That view will be supported by almost all Pompey fans out there

Mark Catlin, chief executive

Stadium stewards were informed about the alleged abuse.

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin said: ‘At this moment in time it’s only an allegation.

‘It’s clear to see through all the conversations we have had with supporters that even the suggestion that a racist comment has been made has been met with total outrage.

‘Their response has been absolutely magnificent.

‘Pompey fans are fantastic. In my opinion they are the best in the country.

‘Whatever the outcome of the investigation, we are confident that will remain the same.

‘If it is proven that a racist comment has been made that won’t be tolerated. That view will be supported by almost all Pompey fans out there.’

Mr Catlin has urged anyone who saw or heard anything to get in touch with the club.

Hampshire Police has now received a formal complaint.

Supt Kelly Whiting said: ‘Match officials raised concerns at half-time about chanting believed to be directed towards a player from Reading and police officers were deployed appropriately to assist stewards with this issue.

‘Further chanting was not heard and officers were not required to take any action.

‘Hampshire Constabulary has a zero-tolerance approach towards verbal abuse which could be seen as racist or homophobic in these circumstances, however no individual was identified.

‘Contact has been made with the player concerned and a formal complaint has also now been received in relation to this matter.’

Call (023) 9273 1204 or email Johnny Moore at johnnymoore@pompeyfc.co.uk.

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