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Rochester United game abandoned after Holmesdale FC players walk off following alleged racist abuse

A county football match was abandoned after a team walked off the pitch claiming one of their players was the target of racist remarks.

The Southern Counties East Football League game was taking place between Rochester United and Holmesdale FC at the Rochester club's ground in Strood before it was called off.

The match was taking place between Holmesdale FC and Rochester United at their ground in Strood.
The match was taking place between Holmesdale FC and Rochester United at their ground in Strood.

Bromley-based Holmesdale FC say one of their players was the victim of racist abuse following a red card.

A fracas is believed to have broken out between both teams before the visitor's manager Lee Roots decided to withdraw his players.

The incident is alleged to have stemmed from an altercation following an off-the-ball incident spotted by a linesman, where a Rochester United player is believed to have been headbutted and spat at.

A Holmesdale FC statement read: "Holmesdale leave the pitch collectively in protest after racist remarks towards our player caused a red card."

The team say they have now reported the incident to the league for it to be investigated further.

Rochester United chairman Matt Hume said the club had been informed by the referee they did not hear any incident of racist remarks.

He had been pitch side when the player was sent off but said he did not appear to complain straight away.

Mr Hume said: "It did not sit well with any of us. This is not something any of our players have been accused of before.

"We don't tolerate anything like that at our club."

Rochester United Chairman Matt Hume says he did not hear any remarks. Picture: Steve Crispe
Rochester United Chairman Matt Hume says he did not hear any remarks. Picture: Steve Crispe

The former manager said there was a strong attendance with around 100 fans but none had reported hearing anything to the referee.

He added: "A couple of older supporters walked over to say they didn't hear anything."

Mr Hume said the club would be cooperating with match officials in full but do not feel there has been any wrongdoing.

It's not the first incident involving allegations of racism between Kent and South London-based teams playing in the division.

Last year Erith and Belvedere FC's Brian Vanderhook stepped down from his role as assistant manager after he said he felt sickened by the level of racism directed at his players.

The incident related to a game between his side, which play at Welling's Park View Road ground in Bexley, and Gillingham club Hollands and Blair FC.

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