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Bolton lose as striker Marvin Sordell makes race claims

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The Sunday press have gone to town on the Millwall v Bolton race row - with events overshadowing the future of Bolton boss Owen Coyle after a fourth away defeat. The match itself would have hardly hit the headlines, but the aftermath certainly has. Millwall look sure to face hefty penalties if the FA find Marvin Sordell's claims that he was racially abused by home fans to be true.

The events could hardly have come at a worse time for football in the wake of the John Terry affair.

Liverpool faced a similar storm last season after their FA Cup tie with Oldham back in January when Oldham's youngster, Tom Adeyemi broke down in tears after being abused from the stands.

Later in the year, a  Merseyside man held on suspicion of racially abusing  Adeyemi was not charged, by the Crown Prosecution Service. An investigation was launched after the alleged incident at Anfield on 6 January.

The 20-year-old man, from Aintree, was arrested on suspicion of a racially aggravated public order offence.

The CPS said there was "insufficient evidence" to bring criminal charges and the authorities in the Millwall case may face similar difficulties. Only time will tell.

Here's what the press made of the Millwall incident

The Sun:
Furious Bolton striker Marvin Sordell last night accused police of ignoring racist abuse at Millwall.
 
Sordell insisted he and three team-mates were targeted by fans at The Den during a 2-1 defeat.
 
He claimed he had been branded a ‘slave c***’ and Darren Pratley, Benik Afobe and Chung-Yong Lee were also abused.
 
Sordell, 21, wrote on Twitter: “Putting the match aside, its 2012 in england and people are still shouting racial abuse at a football game!?


Sunday Times:
The Football Association is to investigate claims from the Bolton forward Marvin Sordell that he and his English teammates Darren Pratley and Benik Afobe, with South Korea’s Lee Chung-Yong, were subjected to racist abuse from Millwall fans during the 2-1 defeat at The Den yesterday. The 21-year-old Londoner made the allegations on Twitter not long after the game had finished.
 
Sordell, who used to play for Watford before joining the Lancashire club, tweeted: “Chungy, Pratts, Benik and I had all sorts of things said to us. The police were standing yards away and did nothing . . . ” He added: “Funniest thing is if I had come on and scored and gave them some back, I would be the one who got fined. #kickitout? Yeah im sure.”

 
The Guardian;
The Bolton striker Marvin Sordell has claimed he and several of his team-mates were racially abused by Millwall fans during his side's 2-1 defeat at the Den.

The 21-year-old, who was a member of the Team GB squad at the London 2012 Olympics, wrote on Twitter that he had reported his allegations to officials, and claimed that midfielders Lee Chung-yong and Darren Pratley, plus his fellow forward Benik Afobe, had also been subjected to racist taunts by a section of home supporters.

Sordell, an unused substitute in the match, wrote: "Putting the match aside, its 2012 in England and people are still shouting racial abuse at a football game? Shocking."

He added: "Chungy, Pratts, Benik and I had all sorts of things said to us. The police were standing yards away and did nothing."

Sordell, who claims the word "slave" was among those aimed at him, also received abusive responses to his allegations on Twitter.

He added: "Funniest thing is if I had come on and scored and gave them some back, I would be the one who got fined."

Millwall later released a statement in response to the allegations confirming they would conduct an investigation. A club spokesman said: "Millwall and Bolton Wanderers are aware of the allegations Marvin Sordell made on Twitter after the game at The Den. At this stage, we are trying to find any corroborative evidence we could use to take the allegations forward."

A Bolton spokesman added: "We are now working with Millwall to investigate and the club have informed us that they will speak to the police and match officials. Both clubs remain determined that racist behaviour or language will not be tolerated."

The Football Association confirmed they would also be investigating Sordell's claims, which come at the end of a week dominated by the John Terry story.

The result, a fourth away defeat of the season for Bolton, came through a last-minute winner from Darius Henderson, which increased the pressure on Owen Coyle. After the game the Bolton manager said he knew his future was becoming increasingly uncertain. "I'm not naive, that's the nature of football, I know how it works. It's up to us to win games and if we don't I'm the same as any manager in the country."

JB

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