Soccer

Wycombe defender Chris Forino reports racist remark from stands at Blackpool

Both clubs condemned the incident and said they would work together to identify the individual responsible.

Chris Forino reported the incident to the referee
Chris Forino reported the incident to the referee Chris Forino reported the incident to the referee (Rhianna Chadwick/PA)

Matt Bloomfield called the alleged racist abuse of Wycombe defender Chris Forino “abhorrent” following his side’s 0-0 draw with Blackpool at Bloomfield Road.

Wycombe defender Forino, 23, was engaged in a long discussion with both sets of managers and the officials towards the end of the first half after reporting being targeted by a discriminatory remark from the stands.

Forino played the full 90 minutes as Wycombe held out for a clean sheet which dented Blackpool’s League One play-off hopes.

Bloomfield said: “There was something said to Chris, racial abuse from behind the goal. It’s so disappointing because the game is for all, and it’s 2024.

“Fair play to Chris, he’s dealt with it in a mature way by reporting it as he should. He was able to clear his mind and play the rest of the game.

“It’s abhorrent in my mind that we live in a society where people think this behaviour is acceptable.

“I hope the authorities take the relevant action, and I’m sure they will.”

Blackpool boss Neil Critchley echoed those sentiments after his club released a statement communicating their “dismay”, while adding that they will “will work with Wycombe to help identify the individual responsible”.

Critchley said: “It’s unacceptable. It’s not something we want at this football club and in society. It’s a police investigation, and we will support the player and Wycombe to try and identify the person who has made the remark.”

It was a damaging day for the Seasiders on the pitch too, who after failing to score in four of their last five games, have seen their play-off hopes fade.

After dropping to ninth in the League One table and sitting six points adrift of the top six with five games to go, Pool’s fate is now firmly out of their hands.

“It’s frustrating, we didn’t play well enough,” said Critchley.

“Not enough players played to the level they should. It was deja vu, and goalscoring has become a problem for us.

“At one end, we’ve been hard to score against. But we’ve had problems scoring goals.

“We were too tentative and didn’t play on the front foot enough. We didn’t build any momentum until the end.”

Meanwhile, Chairboys boss Bloomfield was proud of the character shown by his injury-hit Wycombe side in their final outing before the EFL Trophy final against Peterborough at Wembley on Sunday.

“There’s a fantastic team spirit among us,” said Bloomfield. “I wanted to freshen up because I wanted to give a few players a chance who deserve it. We’ve had some real good competition for places, and I feel like that’s helped us with our league form.

“We didn’t have any injuries, and I wanted to have headaches going into this week at Wembley and everyone who has played here has given me those headaches.”