Police look into allegations of racism at junior football match

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Police are making initial enquiries following recent media coverage of allegations of racism at a junior football match in Leeds.

It was reported that under-13 players from Chapeltown Juniors FC were allegedly the victims of racial slurs during a match against Tingley Athletic FC last weekend.

Officials from the opposing club said the claims are “unsubstantiated”, but Chapeltown FC manager Lutel James called for action to tackle the issue.

Mr James said: “Mentally and psychologically they have been damaged by this. As a country it has become easier for us to just ignore this as an issue. We need to stop putting up the banners and start dealing with the problem.”

In a statement, Tingley said they were “disappointed” the matter had not been reported through official channels.

It said: “We take any accusation of racism very seriously, we will of course investigate the allegations and liaise with the FA and any other appropriate authority on both the allegations and the child welfare issues the case, and its handling raise.

“As ever our priority is the safety and welfare of all the children at the match.”

Chief Inspector Ian Croft, who heads neighbourhood policing in North East Leeds, said: “Although we have not currently had any direct reports about alleged incidents at a match involving junior players from Chapeltown and Tingley, we are aware of recent national and local media coverage about it.

“West Yorkshire Police takes all allegations of racism or other hate incidents very seriously and will take action as is necessary and appropriate.

“At this stage our focus is on tracing and speaking to the children who are reported to have been the victims of racist comments to establish the full circumstances.”