The game was stopped on 76 minutes as referee Ben Toner walked to the dugouts and spoke to both managers as well as stewards and officials. Bradford caretaker player-manager Kevin McDonald later said he had heard a racist comment from the stand behind him towards a City player and immediately reported it to officials.
After a brief delay, play restarted and the game finished 3-0 to Bradford. Just before full-time, supporters were reminded over the tannoy that abuse of any kind, including racial abuse, is not tolerated at the University of Bradford Stadium. In a statement, the Bantams said the club was working alongside West Yorkshire Police and appealed for witnesses to come forward.
Bradford&aposs full statement said: “In the closing stages of the fixture, a remark was made from The Morrisons Family Stand, and reported to the match officials by Kevin McDonald in the Bantams dugout.
“Club officials are now assisting with police enquiries and studying CCTV footage to identify the individual concerned and ensure the strongest possible action is taken against them.
“Disappointingly, the 2023/24 season has already seen an increase in the number of racial hate crime instances reported at the University of Bradford Stadium. Bradford City AFC does not tolerate racism, or any form of discrimination, and urges any spectator who may experience or witness any examples of this to report it as quickly – and in as much detail – as possible, in order to ensure the club is able to suitably act upon it.
“Any spectator found to be demonstrating racist abuse or any form of discrimination, will be indefinitely suspended – with information reported to the police – though the likelihood of this being possible is significantly increased, should incidents be reported at the time of their occurrence.
“To do so, please contact our confidential matchday texting service – on 07949 814243 – or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“The club urges anyone with any information on last nights events to please contact us, in order to aid West Yorkshire Polices investigation and ensure the matter is dealt with in the strongest-possible manner. “
City said in their own statement: “Manchester City strongly condemns the racist comment targeted at one of our playing staff at last night&aposs EFL Trophy match against Bradford City.
We will not tolerate discriminatory behaviour of any kind, and we will be offering our full support to the player in question following this vile incident.
The matter has been reported to the match referee, and we will support any subsequent investigation.