It’s disgusting – Ian Evatt rages at alleged racist abuse from Morecambe fans

Sheffield Wednesday v Bolton Wanderers – Sky Bet League One – Hillsborough
(Image credit: Isaac Parkin)

Bolton boss Ian Evatt was left raging after racist abuse allegedly directed at his players from Morecambe fans saw a controversial 1-1 draw at the Mazuma Stadium stopped by referee Ross Joyce for 10 minutes.

Joyce made the decision with 10 minutes to go, and with Morecambe leading 1-0, after Bolton fans had thrown several objects at Morecambe goalkeeper Adam Smith and Evatt reacted furiously to comments allegedly made to his players by home fans behind the dugouts.

Evatt said: “From minute one we were getting abuse from fans and that is not acceptable.

“I would have taken the players off myself if the referee hadn’t because if one of us gets abused we all get abused and we stand together.

“We are sportsmen and we are professional people but for whatever reason people think it gives them a divine right to say whatever they want through social media or in person and there has to be accountability.

“It’s disgusting and there is no place for it in football or life in general and we have to do the utmost to stamp it out and as an industry we have to come as one.”

Morecambe manager Stephen Robinson said: “There are lots of accusations going about and I’m sure the authorities will deal with it but the stoppage didn’t help us because we were on top at that stage but we didn’t manage the game out and we got punished for bad decisions.

“I’m really frustrated because we should have won the game and picked up three important points which we deserved. We played some really good stuff in horrendous conditions against an in-form side.”

Lancashire Police later released a statement saying an investigation had been launched into the alleged abuse.

The statement read: “An investigation is under way after disorder and allegations of racial abuse at today’s match between Morecambe and Bolton.

“The League One fixture was suspended for 10 minutes at 4.45pm and the players taken off the pitch after a number of racial slurs were directed towards the Bolton bench.

“After the match resumed and Bolton equalised a number of their fans encroached onto the pitch to celebrate and control had to be regained.

“In total five Bolton fans were arrested for offences including being drunk and disorderly, pitch encroachment and one assault on a police officer.

“An investigation into the alleged racist remarks is ongoing working alongside Morecambe FC.”

Bolton had been reduced to 10 men when Ricardo Santos was sent off for a handball in the box leading to Stockton’s penalty miss.

Stockton made amends two minutes later with a close-range finish but the game turned after the stoppage as substitute Amadou Bakayoko scored an 85th-minute leveller to earn a share of the spoils.

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