Cumbria police have launched an official investigation into the racial abuse of Everton players in their 3-0 fourth round FA Cup win at Carlisle.
Arouna Kone and Steven Pienaar were racially abused by Carlisle fans, a development which has prompted the fans to report the matter to the police for further investigations.
Kone scored the opener for the Tofees at Brunton Park and while he and Steven Pienaar celebrated the goal in front of Warwick Road end, a racial chant was aimed at them and it was immediately reported to referee Lee Mason.
The referee then spoke to the two managers – Keith Curle and Roberto Martinez – before an announcement was made over the public address system informing the crowd that racial abuse would not be tolerated.
Speaking on the incident, Curle, the Carlisle manager, who is only one of three black managers in English football said he didn’t hear it himself, but stated racism would not be tolerated: “I didn’t hear it myself. But what I would say to any supporters who were next to people or heard people, please step forward and identify them because it is not accepted. It is not tolerated not only with the boundaries of this football club but any stadium.”
Meanwhile, Everton manager Martinez said Kone and Pienaar were ‘hurt’ by the incident and ‘fearful it would develop in to a difficult afternoon’.
Everton went on to win 3-0 and progressed to the fifth round, in front of Carlisle’s 17,101 spectators, the highest attendance at the club since 1989.