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Carlisle investigating alleged Kone racist abuse

Carlisle United have launched an investigation into alleged racist abuse aimed towards Everton striker Arouna Kone during Sunday's FA Cup fourth-round tie.

Kone opened the scoring after two minutes in Everton's 3-0 win at Brunton Park, but he and team-mate Steven Pienaar appeared upset by shouts made from the crowd during their celebrations.

Referee Lee Mason consulted with Everton manager Roberto Martinez and Carlisle counterpart Keith Curle before an announcement was made warning supporters against abusive language, while Cumbria Police issued a statement shortly after appealing for any information from fans.

Carlisle have now promised to deal with any offender in "an extremely robust manner".

"As we understand it, the match officials were notified that Everton players had heard or witnessed abuse of a racist nature immediately after they had scored the first goal," Carlisle media officer Andy Hall told the club's official website.

"An investigation has been launched, in line with the relevant authorities. If it is found to be the case, and we identify those responsible, we will deal with it in an extremely robust manner.

"We have worked hard to create a welcoming environment at Brunton Park and those efforts were doubled when we came under the spotlight, nationally and internationally, in the wake of the recent floods. 

"Carlisle United has grown in stature as a football club because of the way we have conducted ourselves, on and off the pitch, and we will not allow our reputation to be tarnished in any way.

"It would be wrong of us to comment further on the incident at this stage as we allow the authorities to continue to carry out their investigations."