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Ashley Cole: Police investigating racial abuse aimed at former England footballer at FA Cup game

Police are investigating allegations of racial abuse directed at former England footballer Ashley Cole during an FA Cup match.

The 41-year-old, who played for Arsenal and Chelsea throughout his career, was covering the Swindon Town and Manchester City match as part of the ITV broadcast team when the abuse is said to have taken place.

Wiltshire Police said it had already started “obtaining statements and securing CCTV” as part of its inquiries.

Swindon Town condemned the abuse and sent its “heartfelt apologies” to Mr Cole, adding that it was working with the police force to find those responsible.

“We are absolutely saddened and deeply disgusted by this,” said Swindon owner Clem Morfuni.

“We cannot stress strongly enough that racial abuse of any kind will not be tolerated by Swindon Town FC.

“Racism has no place in the world and it is incredibly heartbreaking that this still has a place in our game.”

He added that those responsible will be “punished accordingly”.

“Those few individuals do not represent Swindon Town and will not be welcome at the County Ground,” Mr Morfuni said.

Swindon commander for Wiltshire Police, Superintendent Phil Staynings added that “behaviour of this nature is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated”.

The FA Cup third-round tie, which was played at Swindon’s home ground on Friday night, ended with the reigning Premier League champions, Manchester City, winning 4-1.

There was doubt the match would go ahead as City currently have 21 members of their “first-team bubble” isolating after testing positive for COVID-19, including manager Pep Guardiola and seven players.

Despite the absences, City named a strong starting lineup after stand-in manager Rodolfo Borrell made just four changes from the club’s victory over Arsenal at the weekend.



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