Two English Football League clubs are currently dealing with allegations of discriminatory behaviour.
Portsmouth have begun disciplinary proceedings after it concluded an investigation into allegations some of the club’s under-18 players used discriminatory language in a group conversation.
The League One club launched an inquiry after images appeared on social media of posts in a private chat following England’s Euro 2020 final defeat by Italy earlier this month.
The whole squad was suspended while the investigation was ongoing, but those who were found not to be involved have now been allowed to return to training.
A statement issued on the club’s official website said: “Portsmouth Football Club have concluded an investigation into discriminatory messages that originated from an Academy U18 private group chat.
“A disciplinary process will now begin, which – in line with club policy and employment law – will last for a minimum of five working days.
“All members of the U18 side were suspended while the investigation took place, but those who are not involved in the disciplinary process have now returned to training.
“With that in mind and in regards to this sensitive matter, Portsmouth FC would continue to respectfully appeal for everyone’s consideration in their use of social media posts directed towards any of its employees and, indeed, any other external parties.
“The club will not be commenting further until the disciplinary process is complete.”
Meanwhile, the Football Association is investigating Cardiff City following an article in The Athletic in which a footballer under the age of 14 claims he was racially abused by his teammates.
The child told FA investigators “he heard monkey noises and that team-mates also rubbed bananas into his clothes” while in a minibus travelling to an away game, according to the football news site.
The report says “the FA investigators also heard alleged that staff failed to respond in a satisfactory manner and clamp down on the abuse”.
“Indeed, it is claimed the alleged victim was told to get on with it and clean it up himself by a staff member who first heard the complaint at the time,” it says.
The player has since left the club academy, according to The Athletic.