WORCESTER City reported allegations of racism on two occasions during Saturday’s FA Vase tie at Atherstone Town.

Manager Ashley Vincent confirmed the incidents had been logged with fourth official Alan Cox during a match in which City staff got hit by beer cans and plastic glasses.

On Saturday, Vincent alleged a lit cigarette had also been thrown at his assistant Marlon Walters and has since confirmed two complaints were raised over racist comments from the crowd during the match. He did not wish to comment further.

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Referee Aaron Bannister delayed the restart of play on three occasions to deal with various problems emanating from Atherstone supporters behind the dug out.

No announcements were made over Atherstone’s public address system on those incidents, only that supporters should stay in allocated areas during extra-time having opted to segregate following half-time.

City officials were told a report would be filed by the referee on any incidents noted during the match with the club awaiting contact from the relevant bodies with regard to follow-up statements.

Much was made of the three-stage protocol which is meant to culminate in the abandonment of matches involving England but the FA’s grassroots guidelines are different to those UEFA rules.


The FA guidelines state: “Club representatives are responsible for monitoring, reporting and acting on any abuse from their spectators.

“This protocol applies specifically where incidents are heard or witnessed by players, managers or match officials on the pitch.

“It aims to ensure that any discriminatory abuse directed at players, managers or match officials is effectively addressed and that participants feel protected.

“Offenders should be identified and dealt with efficiently by the clubs while ensuring that the match, where possible, is not unduly interrupted.”

• The incident should in the first instance be brought to the attention of the match referee during a break in play.

• The match referee should report the incident to a relevant responsible club representative.

• The club representative should seek to identify the person/people responsible and take appropriate action while the match continues in order to stop the abuse.

• If, within an amount of time agreed by the match referee to the club representative, the problem continues, the referee may remove the players from the field and suspend the match, allowing the club representative a further opportunity to deal with the problem.

• If in the opinion of the match referee the matter cannot be dealt with satisfactorily and the welfare of any participants, in terms of the threat of continued abuse, remains at risk, the match referee should consider abandoning the match.

• Any decision to suspend or abandon a match should be taken solely by the match referee after full consultation where deemed appropriate with both team managers and captains.

The FA’s law five also says when “an object thrown by a spectator hits a match official, a player or team official, the referee may allow the match to continue, or stop, suspend or abandon it depending on the severity of the incident.”

Bannister was unavailable for comment.

Atherstone chairman Brian Henney declined to field questions when contacted by Worcester News, indicating all correspondence should be via email.

Mr Henney was invited to send across any statements which have not been forthcoming.

  • CITY’S segregation arrangements for tonight’s replay (7.45) have been announced.

READ MORE | City segregate Atherstone replay 

City fans should enter the ground via the North Stand turnstiles accessed via the lane towards the club bar.

Home supporters will be allocated the North Stand (Shed End), East Terrace and Main Stand blocks C, D and E and have access to the social club.

Refreshments, including hot food and drinks can be accessed by turning right when entering the clubhouse from inside the ground instead of left for the bar.

Atherstone supporters should enter via the main turnstiles and have been allocated the south terrace, south-east terrace, south-west terrace and Block A of the Main Stand.

The pop-up bar and refreshment hut will be open.