Probe launched after ugly scenes at game

LOCAL soccer bosses have launched a probe after ugly scenes marred a youth cup-tie.An investigation is under way following an allegation of “inappropriate behaviour” during an under-15 cup fixture.

By Mel Henderson

LOCAL soccer bosses have launched a probe after ugly scenes marred a youth cup-tie.

An investigation is under way following an allegation of “inappropriate behaviour” during an under-15 cup fixture.

The alleged incident occurred during a recent Felixstowe and District League Cup semi-final between Claydon and Brantham Athletic, which Brantham won 6-1.


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Raffi Coverdale, Suffolk County Football Association's child protection officer, said: “There is an allegation concerning inappropriate behaviour by a spectator towards one of the Claydon players.

“We take child protection issues extremely seriously, whether extreme poor practice or abuse, and it is not possible to say at this stage when the investigation will be complete.”

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The match referee's report and witness statements from some spectators are being studied in connection with the on-going probe.

Stuart Robins, the Claydon manager, said: “There was an incident involving one of our players, who is 15 years old, but since the county football association is currently investigating it I cannot say any more than that.”

Mr Robins is also chairman of the Claydon club, which runs 14 clubs at different age levels.

Brantham Athletic secretary Andy Powell said he had not yet heard from the Suffolk County FA.

He added: “We are conducting our own internal investigation into what happened and we are obtaining statements from people who were at the game.

“The allegation concerns someone who was a spectator at the game and was not there in any official capacity.”

Ms Coverdale said there were three possible scenarios once the investigation had been concluded.

She explained: “There could be no case to answer or it could prove to be a matter which we can deal with here in Suffolk.

“The third possibility is that we find the incident is serious enough to warrant referring our evidence to the Football Association in London and letting them decide what action, if any, should be taken.”

Ms Coverdale said it was entirely at the discretion of the Claydon player's parents whether they chose to involve the police, but she understood they had decided not to do so.

She added: “There is a need to improve behaviour at some games. Not every spectator is a nightmare but unfortunately some appear to forget that children and young people play to enjoy the sport.

“The way some people react you would think there was a pot of gold on offer at the end of the game.”

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