Watford Football Club says it is “appalled” to learn one of its academy goalkeepers was racially abused at the weekend.
Myles Roberts was reportedly targeted while playing for his loan club Concord Rangers on Saturday.
Concord were playing away at Maidstone United in the National League South when the keeper was said to have been abused by home fans.
After the match, Roberts tweeted ‘more needs to be done’ and tagged anti-discrimination campaign group Kick It Out after responding to a tweet that called out the “sickening and embarrassing” racist abuse the 19-year-old had received.
— Myles Roberts (@MylesRoberts_) September 11, 2021
Concord Rangers assistant manager Danny Green tweeted after the 2-2 draw: “On a sour note, our young GK who received racist abuse this afternoon. A young man learning his trade on loan from a Premier League team, I’m absolutely gutted that this has happened.
“We will support him and stand with him every step of the way.”
On a sour note, our young GK who received racist abuse this afternoon. A young man learning his trade on loan from a Premier League team, I’m absolutely gutted that this has happened.
We will support him and stand with him every step of the way. @ConcordRangers
— Danny green (@dannygreen_7) September 11, 2021
Concord Rangers said on its official Twitter account that “racism has no place in our game” and “nobody should ever in any walk of life be subjected to racist abuse”.
On a day we celebrated a true Concord performance. Playing the Concord way.
We must say this. Racism has no place in our game. Nobody should ever in any walk of life be subjected to racist abuse. Not today not tomorrow not any day.
— Concord Rangers FC (@ConcordRangers) September 11, 2021
Maidstone United’s chief executive Bill Williams says anyone guilty of racially abusing Roberts is “not welcome” at his club’s ground ever again.
In an official club statement, he said: “I am aware of allegations on Twitter by the Concord Rangers goalkeeper that racist comments were directed at him. We are sorry and dismayed to read this.
“Let me be crystal clear – racism has no place in our game and in our society as a whole.
“If we are able to identify the culprit or culprits and I believe we’re only talking about one or two amongst a crowd of 2,000 – they will be dealt with in the strongest possible terms.”
Statement: Concord Rangers match.https://t.co/DsgXcIcRru
— Maidstone United (@maidstoneunited) September 12, 2021
Mr Williams continued: “If it was you and we’re not able to find you, let me say here and now: you’re not welcome at our ground ever again.
“If I can make one plea at this time – if anyone hears or sees anything untoward at matches, be you a player, official or supporter, please report it at that time. I fear the failure to do so on this occasion and leave it to social media a couple of hours later, will let those individuals off the hook and that is almost as sad as the incident itself.”
We were appalled to hear racist abuse was directed at Myles Roberts on Saturday while he was playing on loan for Concord Rangers.
We reiterate our zero-tolerance approach to all forms of discrimination, which has no place in football or society.
We stand with you, Myles 💛
— Watford Football Club (@WatfordFC) September 13, 2021
Watford Football Club said in a statement: “We were appalled to hear that racist abuse was directed at Myles Roberts on Saturday [September 11], while the Watford FC Academy goalkeeper was playing on loan for Concord Rangers against Maidstone United.
“We reiterate our zero-tolerance approach to all forms of discrimination, which has no place in football or society, and remain committed to stamping it out.
“We have been in contact with Myles since Saturday to support the player, while an investigation into identifying the responsible individuals progresses.
“We would also like to extend our thanks to Concord Rangers for their swift condemnation of the abuse and for their own support.”