Why Bolton Wanderers didn’t want to cancel Morecambe clash stopped after ‘unacceptable’ behavior

Ian Evatt insists Bolton Wanderers did not consider canceling their game against Morecambe and believes their players channeled their emotions in the right way to get the clash temporarily suspended and earn a point.

Wanderers drew 1–1 against the Shrimps thanks to a late Amadou Bakayoko equalizer that disallowed Cole Stockton’s first goal, which came after Ricardo Almeida Santos was shown the red card and Stockton’s subsequent penalty was saved by James Trafford.

But the match was marred by off-pitch incidents, with allegations of racist abuse and spitting towards the Bolton dugout, Wanderers boss Ian Evatt said after the match.

READ MORE: Morecambe 1-1 Bolton Wanderers: highlights and reaction to late equalizer and alleged game-stopping racist abuse

The match was suspended for 10 minutes when both sets of players were carried off the field at Mazuma Stadium following allegations of racist abuse directed towards the Wanderers dugout.

Evatt believes stopping play for a while was the right course of action, but did not entertain the idea of ​​canceling the match.

He feels that if that had been done, then those who undertake actions such as racist abuse are ‘winning’ as he believes a line was crossed at Mazuma Stadium.

Evatt said: “Postponing was the right thing to do temporarily. If we cancel the game, the people who are doing these things are winning. They can’t affect society and games and everything else the way they are. His behavior is unacceptable.

“I hope they ban them. I hope the police are involved, I don’t know about that at the moment, but we all heard it and the racist comment was what pushed it all over the edge, but there was much, much more.” before that.

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“The guy who made the racist comment ran out of the stadium as fast as he could, so he knew about it, and we knew about it, and we won’t take it.

“If it happens to one of us, then it happens to all of us and I’m not willing to stand there and continue to do my job when people cross the line like that and they crossed the line, there’s no question about it.”

The referees allowed 10 more minutes of play to make up for the temporary postponement, during which time Bakayoko scored a dramatic equalizer that led to jubilant celebrations.

Evatt explained the message he gave to the dressing room before leaving, and that he is proud of them for their response and would not apologize for their behaviour, which he considered brilliant.

He said: “I just said that despite all of our upset, all of our emotion, we have to maintain our discipline, but channel it in the right way and go and get something out of the game because that’s going to hurt them more and that’s what we did.” I am so proud of them.

“At the end of the day we’re human beings and we don’t deserve to be abused like that from minute one to minute 90 and we need protection and we need it to end the game and if emotions spill out we’re only human so I can only apologize for that, but I’m certainly not going to apologize for the way my players behaved today.

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“I thought they were brilliant.”


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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