Carlisle United have been found guilty of failing to ensure supporters conducted themselves in an orderly fashion, following racist chants in a League Two match against Bradford City on Boxing Day 2022, a club statement said.
The club condemned the discriminatory behaviour saying it is “deeply sorry to Bradford City” and that “it brings shame on the club and our fans.”
What are the full FA charges?
The Cumbrian side were charged with:
- Failing on 26/12/22 to ensure that spectators and/or supporters (and anyone purporting to be its supporters or followers) conduct themselves in an orderly fashion whilst attending the match and do not use words or otherwise behave in a way which is improper, offensive, abusive, indecent, or insulting with either express or implied reference to race contrary to rule E21.1 of the Rules of the Football Association.
In addition, The FA alleged that the words and/or behaviour made reference to race contrary to FA rule E21.4.
The misconduct involved three identifiable offences of offensive and insulting racist chants during the fixture in December, and the football club was formally warned as to its future conduct.
Carlisle admitted the charge, with the FA Commission concluding it was appropriate and proportionate to issue a financial sanction of £7,500.
An initial investigation was launched internally in January, after a home fan reported racist chanting in the Wawrick Road End, before the club received further complaints from supporters of the Bantams. On the day, no individuals responsible could be identified by police or stewards.
What’s been said?
Chief executive Nigel Clibbens said: “The club condemns the discriminatory and disorderly behaviour we saw at the game.
“The damage to the reputation of the club and football and issues of equality, diversity and inclusivity by such discriminatory misconduct is obvious.
“It is unsurprising that we received multiple complaints from supporters after that game. We are deeply sorry for this incident and apologise to Bradford City, its fans and all spectators at the match, and the wider game, for this incident.
“It brings shame on the club and our fans. There must be no repeat.
“We have worked to improve spectator behaviour, including with supporter groups, but this has proved to fall short of what is required. We will introduce an action plan in accordance with the FA Regulatory Commission sanction.
“The club will develop initiatives to make it a more inclusive environment and will be more proactive in the prevention and detection of any potential discriminatory or disorderly behaviour going forward.
“This will include a media campaign across our website and social media accounts emphasising the club’s policies and zero tolerance approach toward discriminatory and disorderly behaviour.”
It is abhorrent that we are still discussing occurrences like this in the 21st century. Those who have committed these offences do not represent Carlisle supporters, nor society as a whole.
The club has done the right thing to condemn those responsible at the time of the incident, as well as repeating that message again following today’s charges.
Hopefully the measures taken by the Cumbrian side will prevent a situation like this from ever arising again.