• Football

FA back Watford for racism stance

ESPN staff
December 13, 2013
Watford boss Gianfranco Zola says he is not fully aware of all the details over the alleged racial abuse suffered by players on the club's youth team © Getty Images

The FA has offered their full support to Watford after the club's youth team was taken off the pitch during a tournament in Italy following alleged racial abuse.

The incident reportedly occurred during their match with Latina at the Wojtyla Cup in Rome on Wednesday, while the team is expected to return to England on Friday.

The FA are investigating the circumstances surrounding the incident, after which coach Dave Hughes decided to lead his players off the pitch.

"We have made enquiries to the club to find out what has happened and have offered our assistance and support," an FA spokesman said.

Watford first-team boss Gianfranco Zola was not in Italy and admits he is unclear on the specifics of the incident, which is also being investigated by anti-racism campaigners Kick It Out.

Zola told BBC Three Counties: "Apparently there had been some bad tackles and some racist words used. What happened is not nice and if there is something we can do, we'll do it.

"I have had a chat with Dave Hughes and he reported some things to me. We are looking into it to see what happened exactly. I want to find out more about what happened from the organisers. I need to have the bigger picture before commenting any more.

"It looks like it was something between players but I am trying to find out more because I only spoke to Dave Hughes quickly last night."

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