Levels under-12 players racially abused in a league match


Levels FC huddle together ahead of a match - Credit: ESA Photos

Two under-12 Levels FC players were racially abused during a football game against Essex side Baddow Spartak during a league fixture in east London late last year, it has been revealed. 

One of the Levels boys was reduced to tears as he was allegedly abused by an opposition player.  

Prior to this incident another player taunted one of the Levels FC players reportedly saying “black lives don’t matter”.  

The Essex FA released a statement this week saying: “Discrimination has no place at any level of football. We’re committed to ongoing prevention of this sort of behaviour but, if found proven, strong and appropriate punishments will be enforced. It’s important that any allegations are reported and dealt with. 

“Our Governance Team fully investigated allegations of misconduct relating to an Under 12s match between Levels and Baddow Spartak on Sunday, October 18, 2020. 

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“In liaison with The FA, both clubs were charged with a breach of FA Rule E20 - failure to ensure players and/or officials and/or spectators conducted themselves in an orderly fashion which resulted in a match being abandoned. Baddow Spartak's charge was aggravated by reference of a person's ethnic origin, colour and/or race. 

“In line with FA rules and regulations, any charge which includes an aggravating factor is considered by a discipline commission who are appropriately-trained by The FA, through a national panel, and appointed by The FA. 

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“Both charges were found proven. The Baddow Spartak charge resulted in the sanction of a warning as to their future conduct and a fine of £80. Levels were fined £50. 

“We did not receive notice from The FA of either club instigating an appeal.” 

Levels FC were fined for entering the field of play leading to an abandoned game.  

Owner Terry Bobie said: “It’s disgusting on so many levels but something we’ve prepped our players and coaches for unfortunately. 

“Firstly, I’m delighted none of our players lashed out after being racially abused. I know some people would have loved for our team to react like this, but we’ve learned how to dance with the devil.

"Fortunately, our boys showed maturity and class and came and reported the crime.  

He criticised the £80 fine saying it would not send out a message to other teams.  

“We are blessed to have boys from all nationalities and backgrounds representing us no player under any circumstance should be racially abused because of the colour of their skin or how they look.  

“Unfortunately, this is a reoccurring theme, and you can see it by the way some people behave and even operate that the colour of our skin is a problem when we attend fixtures."

The written reasons for the decisions and sanctions will be published via www.thefa.com in due course. 

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