Wycombe Wanderers of England bulky striker, Adebayo Akinfenwa is at the centre of a storm on account of a seemingly negative post by fans of an opposing team, Fleetwood Town, who tagged him ‘Fat Water Buffalo,’ but they have escaped punishment from England’s Football Association, megasportsarena.com reports.
In contrast with widespread expectations that Fleetwood would be hammed for the cynical and mocking words of their fans, they have been cleared by the FA of any wrongdoing, following an investigation into claims by Akinfenwa that he was repeatedly abused by opposing supporters during last season’s English League One play-off semi-final.
Akinfenwa alleged after the match a ‘representative of the opposition’ made the remark during the second-leg of the play-off tie at Highbury Stadium in July and averred that the tag affected him psychologically and accused the opponents of using words that dehumanized him as a black man.
However, rather than come out with punitive measures for the opponents, The FA declared on Thursday that they were entirely satisfied that, though the alleged words might had been used by a member of Fleetwood’s crew, there was insufficient evidence to prove that they amounted to a breach in existing rules and regulations guiding the game.
The English football governing body’s statement on the matter read: “The FA interviewed a number of witnesses, including players and staff from WWFC and FTFC, as well as two match officials. The witness accounts all confirmed the use of the term ‘water buffalo’ or ‘buffalo.’
“However, some witnesses did not consider the term to be discriminatory and did not consider it to have been used in a discriminatory manner. Others were unsure whether the term was discriminatory. Some witnesses stated they did consider the term to be discriminatory.
“The match officials confirmed that they had received no complaint regarding the comment either during or after the game and so the discrimination protocol had not been enacted. Both match officials confirmed that the alleged term had been used.
“One of which confirmed it was during a dialogue between himself and a member of FTFC during which the member of FTFC was describing the actions of the WWFC player. Both match officials confirmed that they had not interpreted the words to be discriminatory in either nature or context which was why no red card had been issued to the member of FTFC.
“The member of FTFC accepted using the alleged words but denied that they were used in a discriminatory context and were instead used to describe the player’s actions. The member of FTFC stated they had been aware that the WWFC player had a nickname of ‘The Beast’ and seen before the game on social media that he had not been able to train and so was potentially out of shape.”