Sheffield Wednesday “vehemently refutes any form of racist abuse on our part” after Mansfield alleged their captain Krystian Pearce was abused during a pre-season friendly between the two clubs.
The Stags confirmed in a statement on Monday they had “reported an allegation of racist abuse directed at its captain Krystian Pearce to both the Football Association and Nottinghamshire Police”.
Tuesday’s fixture ended with a 22-man brawl, with Stags boss David Flitcroft later saying he had to get Pearce off the pitch after something had “riled” him.
The Football Association is looking into the allegation, saying in a statement: “The FA can confirm that the match referee was made aware of an allegation during the Mansfield v Sheffield Wednesday game on Tuesday July 24 and subsequently reported this to the FA, which has begun making enquiries into the matter.”
A statement from Wednesday read: “Sheffield Wednesday are aware of the very serious allegations made following the pre-season friendly with Mansfield Town on Tuesday 24 July.
“The club vehemently refutes any form of racist abuse on our part and will vigorously defend itself should the need arise.”
Both clubs said they would be making no further comment at this time.
The incident happened towards the end of Mansfield’s 2-1 win at Field Mill.
Stags boss Flitcroft told the Sheffield Star: “With seven or eight minutes to go Pearcey was visibly upset with something, so I got him off the pitch.
“Pearcey has a character and a calmness about him as everyone can see. Supporters around here have known him longer than me.
“He has a calmness and assurance when playing football. But something riled him. Something rattled him and I was worried that, with him looking so wound up, he might do the wrong thing.
“So I got him off the pitch – sensible management in a pre-season game when there are no points to play for.”
A post on Kick It Out’s Twitter feed read: “The allegation made by @mansfieldtownfc’s captain Krystian Pearce is extremely serious and we have offered our support to the club. It is vital that the incident is thoroughly investigated by the Police and @FA.”
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