A Peterborough League Division Two match was abandoned on Saturday (March 17) amid allegations of racist abuse and intimidation of the referee.
The game between FC Peterborough and Rippingale & Folkingham was halted by referee John Bedford two minutes from time with the score at 1-1.
Mr Bedford has told league officials he felt intimidated by FC Peterborough players who had ‘surrounded’ him.
But FC Peterborough claim the 88th-minute melee was sparked by an elbow in the face of one of their players that went unseen by the referee. The city club also insist a Rippingale & Folkingham player made a racist comment which has been reported to campaigning equality and inclusion group ‘Kick it Out.’
The Peterborough Telegraph has seen a post-match report written by FC Peterborough’s director of football Imtiaz Ali.
He reveals the club gave Mr Bedford a very low mark based partly on a failure to protect the FC Peterborough players from the ‘physical’ approach of their opponents.
Mr Ali insisted his players showed commendable restraint throughout. He also praised most Rippingale & Folkingham players for showing restraint after the late incident.
Rippingale & Folkingham manager Pete Stanton said: “Because of the nature of the allegations I have no comment to make until after the relevant counties have heard the case.”
A request from the Peterborough Telegraph for a comment by the Peterborough League drew the following response: “FC Peterborough surrounded the referee and he felt intimidated. A report has gone to the Northants FA.”
FC Peterborough attracted national attention in November for condemning the level of racist abuse aimed at their players, including some who play in junior football.