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Man charged after youth football racism incident

DIVERSE: NFC's under-14 team

POLICE HAVE charged a 50-year-old man with a public order offence after investigations into claims youth team footballers were racially abused during an under-14s match in Littlethorpe, Leicestershire.

The man is set to appear on February 25 at Leicester Magistrates’ Court.

The incident in question, alleged to have occurred on October 21, 2012, during a match between Nirvana FC (NFC) and Blaby Whetstone FC (BWFC), was first reported to The Voice after parent Corinne Melbourne had seen this paper’s Enough Is Enough: Get Onside campaign.

Witnesses watching the game have claimed that monkey chants and gestures were directed at NFC players, with allegations made that words such as "n*gger" and "monkey" were used against the 14 and 15-year-olds during and after the match.

Last November, Melbourne, told The Voice: “When I saw your campaign, my heart jumped.

“I thought, is it now time for justice for these kids, for people to be accountable, because this is 30 years along the line, and nobody seems to be doing a thing about racism.”

HEADLINE: How The Voice broke the original story

The county FA, as well as charging BWFC players for offensive comments made on social media sites, has brought charges against two NFC youth players for reacting to those comments, which were not of a racist nature.

The decision was heavily criticised by the Society of Black Lawyer’s chairman Peter Herbert, who said: “we do have serious concerns about the decision to target the victims of this abuse.”

COURT DATE: Leicester Magistrates' Court

Had enough of racism in football? Back our campaign Enough is Enough - Get Onside. Sign the petition here

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