Watford legend Luther Blissett praises decision to abandon game due to alleged racist incident

Watford Observer: Blissett praises decision to abandon game due to alleged racist incident Blissett praises decision to abandon game due to alleged racist incident

Hornets legend Luther Blissett has praised Watford’s youth team coach David Hughes after he pulled his players off the pitch during a game in Italy following an alleged racist comment.

On Wednesday Hughes told his under-19 players to leave the field 15 minutes into the second half against Serie B club Latina.

Hughes refused to comment on the matter when he was asked yesterday but head coach Gianfranco Zola says it appears the alleged remark was made by an .opposition player.

The FA and racism charity Kick It Out have confirmed they are looking into the incident.

Blissett, who is Watford’s record goalscorer, spent time in Italy playing for AC Milan during the 1980s.

He said: “It’s sad these things are still going on but it was absolutely right to take the team off.

"It’s good to know that somebody has done something about it rather than just accept it.

“The FA should investigate and if it’s been established that there was abuse, they should hand over to UEFA to dish out punishments.

“Don’t leave it to match officials to handle these things – once clubs know that they’re being watched from much higher up, people will start behaving.

“I think the Italians have cleaned up their act to an extent, but they’re still a long way behind this country.

"In terms of how they've treated black players, when I went to Italy in 1983, they were back where this country was when I started playing in 1975.

"But I've had some horrendous times in England.

"I was playing alongside John Barnes in a League Cup match at Leeds in the eighties when the crowd gave us a really bad time.

"At one point, the ball had gone behind and when I went to pick it up the crowd behind the goal, they started the Sieg Heil salute. They did it to a man.

"We answered it in the best possible way by winning 4-0.

"You couldn't have taken a team off the field in those days - there would have been uproar but it's the right thing to do now and I'm glad to see it's happening."

Speaking to the Watford Observer yesterday, Zola said: "I have had a chat with Dave Hughes and he reported some things to me. We are looking into it to see what happened exactly.

"I am certainly not pleased about it and I do not like it but before I say any more I want to find out more about what happened from the organisers. I need to have the bigger picture before commenting any more."

He did clarify: "It looks like it was something between players but I am trying to find out more because I only spoke to Dave Hughes quickly last night."

The Hornets were 1-0 down to Latina at the time the game was called off. The match was part of the Wojtyla Cup.

Hughes can be seen calling his players off the field five minutes and 29 seconds into the video below.

Comments (11)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

4:29pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Bush Hornet says...

LEGEND!! Great, great player, and man.
LEGEND!! Great, great player, and man. Bush Hornet

5:26pm Fri 13 Dec 13

andyhooked says...

Yeah and what about that useless teapot Sepp Blatter that is still in denial and thinks non-white players should take it on the chin and just shake hands when they are abused.
Yeah and what about that useless teapot Sepp Blatter that is still in denial and thinks non-white players should take it on the chin and just shake hands when they are abused. andyhooked

5:35pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Cuetip says...

Nice to see Dave getting the backing . I hope he gains strength from what he did for the lads. Far too many of us stand on the touch line and watch the bullying and harassment of the innocent.

Our politicians are just like the ref seeing and not believing what's going on in front of them.
Nice to see Dave getting the backing . I hope he gains strength from what he did for the lads. Far too many of us stand on the touch line and watch the bullying and harassment of the innocent. Our politicians are just like the ref seeing and not believing what's going on in front of them. Cuetip

6:31pm Fri 13 Dec 13

Skully84 says...

Yeah me too, Dave Hughes called it well that man. It's not simply worth playing against a game of sport with anybody who you don't have respect for. If people are not there to play then why should the Watford youth team?
Yeah me too, Dave Hughes called it well that man. It's not simply worth playing against a game of sport with anybody who you don't have respect for. If people are not there to play then why should the Watford youth team? Skully84

7:51pm Fri 13 Dec 13

ALDERHOLT DORSET HORN says...

WFC where one of the first clubs to bring family's back into Football - let's hope our club is one of the first to really do something about getting rid off racism from the park --- WELL DONE DAVID - you make me proud to be a Hornet
WFC where one of the first clubs to bring family's back into Football - let's hope our club is one of the first to really do something about getting rid off racism from the park --- WELL DONE DAVID - you make me proud to be a Hornet ALDERHOLT DORSET HORN

11:54pm Fri 13 Dec 13

edgrigg says...

As well as racism becoming a thing of the past lets hope childish homophobic abuse dies out as well. Perhaps the berk that sat in front of me at the Bolton game making stupid crass comments questioning the linesman's sexuality might read these comments and think twice before doing it again. Still, it did distract me from the game which is a good thing.
As well as racism becoming a thing of the past lets hope childish homophobic abuse dies out as well. Perhaps the berk that sat in front of me at the Bolton game making stupid crass comments questioning the linesman's sexuality might read these comments and think twice before doing it again. Still, it did distract me from the game which is a good thing. edgrigg

11:54pm Fri 13 Dec 13

berkshire orn says...

WELL DONE DAVID HUGHES EVERY OTHER CLUB TALKS ABOUT DOING IT WATFORD F.C DO IT COME ON YOU HORNS WATFORD AND PROUD
WELL DONE DAVID HUGHES EVERY OTHER CLUB TALKS ABOUT DOING IT WATFORD F.C DO IT COME ON YOU HORNS WATFORD AND PROUD berkshire orn

8:19am Sat 14 Dec 13

Phil Cox (UKIP) says...

Well done. This incident cannot now be swept under any carpet and will have to be dealt with.

Racism is wrong, it's that simple.
Well done. This incident cannot now be swept under any carpet and will have to be dealt with. Racism is wrong, it's that simple. Phil Cox (UKIP)

10:12am Sat 14 Dec 13

paultheshrink says...

edgrigg wrote:
As well as racism becoming a thing of the past lets hope childish homophobic abuse dies out as well. Perhaps the berk that sat in front of me at the Bolton game making stupid crass comments questioning the linesman's sexuality might read these comments and think twice before doing it again. Still, it did distract me from the game which is a good thing.
Totally agree - homophobia has to get on the radar as unacceptable next.
Oh, and well done David Hughes and Watford - let's stay in the vanguard on this issue.
[quote][p][bold]edgrigg[/bold] wrote: As well as racism becoming a thing of the past lets hope childish homophobic abuse dies out as well. Perhaps the berk that sat in front of me at the Bolton game making stupid crass comments questioning the linesman's sexuality might read these comments and think twice before doing it again. Still, it did distract me from the game which is a good thing.[/p][/quote]Totally agree - homophobia has to get on the radar as unacceptable next. Oh, and well done David Hughes and Watford - let's stay in the vanguard on this issue. paultheshrink

2:34pm Sat 14 Dec 13

MonkeyFC says...

really proud to read this and completely agree with comments flagging up homophobia. it would be great if Watford took a lead on this, taking the initiative to approach Stonewall to work on the issue. As fans we should treat homophobia in exactly the same way we would if we come across racism.
really proud to read this and completely agree with comments flagging up homophobia. it would be great if Watford took a lead on this, taking the initiative to approach Stonewall to work on the issue. As fans we should treat homophobia in exactly the same way we would if we come across racism. MonkeyFC

5:14pm Sun 15 Dec 13

Cuetip says...

The Watford Warbler wrote:
MonkeyFC wrote:
really proud to read this and completely agree with comments flagging up homophobia. it would be great if Watford took a lead on this, taking the initiative to approach Stonewall to work on the issue. As fans we should treat homophobia in exactly the same way we would if we come across racism.
I think by taking the players off the pitch means the racists win. One nil down, they make some racist remarks and games abandoned and they no longer lose. Would of been much better for the lads who had been abused the opportunity to shut them up the right way, on the pitch!! This sends a message that racism is a get out of jail free card when losing, maybe Zola will start coaching it! We cannot dodge the issue of racism by simply talking our football away and going home. Interesting that someone calling themselves monkey fc avoided any comments on racism and changed the subject to homophobia
It's an interesting idea almost akin to turning the other cheek. But if you can an example where it has worked, I'd be most impressed. There have been tremendous struggles eg women's vote, the Mandela, Ghandi, MLK & stories but they came at a hell of a price.
[quote][p][bold]The Watford Warbler[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]MonkeyFC[/bold] wrote: really proud to read this and completely agree with comments flagging up homophobia. it would be great if Watford took a lead on this, taking the initiative to approach Stonewall to work on the issue. As fans we should treat homophobia in exactly the same way we would if we come across racism.[/p][/quote]I think by taking the players off the pitch means the racists win. One nil down, they make some racist remarks and games abandoned and they no longer lose. Would of been much better for the lads who had been abused the opportunity to shut them up the right way, on the pitch!! This sends a message that racism is a get out of jail free card when losing, maybe Zola will start coaching it! We cannot dodge the issue of racism by simply talking our football away and going home. Interesting that someone calling themselves monkey fc avoided any comments on racism and changed the subject to homophobia[/p][/quote]It's an interesting idea almost akin to turning the other cheek. But if you can an example where it has worked, I'd be most impressed. There have been tremendous struggles eg women's vote, the Mandela, Ghandi, MLK & stories but they came at a hell of a price. Cuetip

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree