Bolton Wanderers chairman Sharon Brittan has backed her manager Ian Evatt’s actions in taking the players off the pitch after alleged racist abuse as she condemned the ‘unacceptable and disgraceful actions’ from a minority of Morecambe fans.
The League One clash at the Mazuma Stadium was suspended for 10 minutes by referee Ross Joyce following a comment directed towards the Wanderers bench from the crowd and the players were called off the pitch.
Cole Stockton had previously put the hosts ahead after having his penalty saved by James Trafford as Bolton captain Ricardo Almeida Santos was shown a straight red card for a handball in the box.
READMORE: Morecambe 1-1 Bolton Wanderers: highlights and reaction to late draw and alleged racist abuse stopping game
But Wanderers rallied and during 10 extra minutes of play, substitute Amadou Bakayoko struck to earn Bolton a share of the spoils.
The post match discussion was dominated by the stoppage and Evatt claimed there was spitting directed towards the Bolton bench, as well as encroachment of the dugout and ultimately allegations of racist abuse from a section of the home fans.
Wanderers chairman Brittan has spoken on the day and backed Evatt’s actions in calling his players off the pitch as well as condemned the ‘completely unacceptable and disgraceful actions’ from a minority of Shrimps fans.
Brittan said: “I completely stand by the actions of Ian and the rest of the staff, who were subjected to abuse throughout the game.
“However, when that abuse became racist he had no option but to make a stand against these completely unacceptable and disgraceful actions from a minority of the Morecambe supporters.
“I implore Morecambe Football Club to treat this matter very seriously because football needs to play its part in rooting out all forms of hatred and discrimination from society.
“Football is a game for all and what we witnessed today was shocking. We will ensure that our colleagues who were abused receive the care and support they need.”
Evatt added: “Football is a highly emotional game and we should be talking about what happened on the pitch and not off it.
“Yet, what I heard today was beyond shocking. Never in all my years in football have I experienced what occurred today.
“Having vile things said to us throughout the game and being spat upon is bad enough, but when sickening racist comments were directed to my staff and players I had to make it clear that it was not acceptable.
“Turning a blind eye or ignoring such hatred would be tantamount to condoning it so we left the pitch.
“I have to say how proud I am of the players for keeping their focus and discipline when they returned to go on and score a fully deserved equaliser.
“Bolton Wanderers Football Club will never tolerate racism and discrimination and I am proud of how Sharon and the Board embody this with their work in the community and the values they hold.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.