Clarke Carlisle praises Watford youth team coach Dave Hughes for removing players after alleged racist comments

Hughes' decision was 'outstanding', says Carlisle

Former PFA chairman and ex-Watford defender Clarke Carlisle. Picture: Action Images

Carlisle played for Watford between August 2005 and August 2007. Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport
Last updated

Former PFA chairman and ex-Watford defender Clarke Carlisle has thrown his full support behind Hornets youth team coach Dave Hughes, who withdrew his players from the field following an alleged racist incident in Italy last month.

Watford were playing against Serie B team Latina in the Wojtyla Cup and during the game persistent racist comments were said to have been made by opposition players.

Hughes told his Under-19 players to leave the field 15 minutes into the second half and Carlisle is in no doubt that the Hornets' coach made the correct decision.

"I think it was outstanding and it shows that this will not be tolerated," Carlisle told Sky Sports.

"That's exactly what should happen if the issue is not being dealt with by the authorities or the people in charge.

"I've said this about all the tournaments - when we were talking about Poland and the Ukraine and the potential for x, y and z - that you place your faith in the officials.

"If the referee and the officials on the side do their job then the players will be escorted off the pitch and you can have some faith in the processes that should be followed.

"But if they're not being followed and the officials do not feel empowered enough to be able to do that then I think that managers and players are right to leave the field of play."

We understand Hughes has the backing of Watford and that the Hornets are working closely with the English FA as they request a full explanation from the Italian FA and organisers of the Wojtyla Cup.

Carlisle admits it is "horrible" to see such incidents occuring in younger age groups of the game and believes any punishment handed out should be worse as a result.

"It's more disheartening and upsetting when it is the younger element because these are really impressionable minds, who probably won't have an understanding of why they are being subjected to this type of abuse," he said.

"It is horrible and I hope that if there are any sanctions imposed the fact that effectively it is an offence against a minor will be taken into account as exacerbating."

Watford legend Luther Blissett has also backed Hughes' actions, saying it was "absolutely right to take the team off."

Comments (14)

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3:37pm Tue 7 Jan 14

ORBY says...

If the allegations are proved to be correct then the authorities must take strong action. All too often the powers that be pay lip service and fines are token gestures.
If the allegations are proved to be correct then the authorities must take strong action. All too often the powers that be pay lip service and fines are token gestures. ORBY
  • Score: 22

3:55pm Tue 7 Jan 14

soulfulhornet says...

There is limited amount of things, unfortunately, that can be done about racist remarks from the crowd, esp en masse, other than closing grounds or banning all supporters of a particular club/ country.

When the abuse comes from players, there is no excuse whatsoever. And when it is repeat offences more so. This must be dealt with severely (if proven).

I hope the authorities take strong action, though I have no faith in the them in this country let alone Europe or FIFA. I am pleased and proud, however, that our club is making a stand and that football ambassadors like Clarke support us.
There is limited amount of things, unfortunately, that can be done about racist remarks from the crowd, esp en masse, other than closing grounds or banning all supporters of a particular club/ country. When the abuse comes from players, there is no excuse whatsoever. And when it is repeat offences more so. This must be dealt with severely (if proven). I hope the authorities take strong action, though I have no faith in the them in this country let alone Europe or FIFA. I am pleased and proud, however, that our club is making a stand and that football ambassadors like Clarke support us. soulfulhornet
  • Score: 17

4:15pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Abbotshorn says...

my gripe is that when English Clubs went through their days of hooliganism FIFA banned us from European competitions for 3 years,however every other country will either get a fine or a ticking off....i see racism just as bad if not worse. Blatters army rules again!!
my gripe is that when English Clubs went through their days of hooliganism FIFA banned us from European competitions for 3 years,however every other country will either get a fine or a ticking off....i see racism just as bad if not worse. Blatters army rules again!! Abbotshorn
  • Score: 14

4:41pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Cuetip says...

ORBY wrote:
If the allegations are proved to be correct then the authorities must take strong action. All too often the powers that be pay lip service and fines are token gestures.
Hope the authorities take strong action and not look for an escape route and blame Dave. When people stand up to injustice, the established order always look to protect themselves first in order to avoid the stench and throw the blame at someone else and carry on as normal.
[quote][p][bold]ORBY[/bold] wrote: If the allegations are proved to be correct then the authorities must take strong action. All too often the powers that be pay lip service and fines are token gestures.[/p][/quote]Hope the authorities take strong action and not look for an escape route and blame Dave. When people stand up to injustice, the established order always look to protect themselves first in order to avoid the stench and throw the blame at someone else and carry on as normal. Cuetip
  • Score: 11

4:53pm Tue 7 Jan 14

andyhooked says...

WFC has always stood up for the best in everything. The Family Club and now again being on the high moral ground against this latest incident of racism in football.
WFC has always stood up for the best in everything. The Family Club and now again being on the high moral ground against this latest incident of racism in football. andyhooked
  • Score: 8

5:32pm Tue 7 Jan 14

andyhooked says...

Abbotshorn you are so right about Blatter. He is a disgrace and oversees so much corruption in FIFA as well as not doing anything about racism. His suggestions about shaking hands after racial abuse just shows how the authorities play lip service and have no right to try and run the game of football.
Abbotshorn you are so right about Blatter. He is a disgrace and oversees so much corruption in FIFA as well as not doing anything about racism. His suggestions about shaking hands after racial abuse just shows how the authorities play lip service and have no right to try and run the game of football. andyhooked
  • Score: 14

8:54pm Tue 7 Jan 14

Hornet Cornet says...

FIFA are a corrupt bunch and don't have much credence. What Hughes did took bravery and guts. He should be applauded for his actions. The football world would be a better place if we had more men like him.
FIFA are a corrupt bunch and don't have much credence. What Hughes did took bravery and guts. He should be applauded for his actions. The football world would be a better place if we had more men like him. Hornet Cornet
  • Score: 7

9:29pm Tue 7 Jan 14

akureyri says...

After accusations of ruining English football last year will certain daily newspapers now accuse Watford of ruining European football by their stand against racism?
After accusations of ruining English football last year will certain daily newspapers now accuse Watford of ruining European football by their stand against racism? akureyri
  • Score: 3

12:28pm Wed 8 Jan 14

Boosey says...

Was the ref aware of any racist abuse? Did Dave Hughes speak to any officials before he took action? These are the questions that will be asked.
If not, he will be seen as taking the law into his own hands and as a result, do you honestly believe that the offending club will be dealt with?
Doubt it.
Was the ref aware of any racist abuse? Did Dave Hughes speak to any officials before he took action? These are the questions that will be asked. If not, he will be seen as taking the law into his own hands and as a result, do you honestly believe that the offending club will be dealt with? Doubt it. Boosey
  • Score: 0

3:33pm Wed 8 Jan 14

CaptainPC says...

Boosey wrote:
Was the ref aware of any racist abuse? Did Dave Hughes speak to any officials before he took action? These are the questions that will be asked.
If not, he will be seen as taking the law into his own hands and as a result, do you honestly believe that the offending club will be dealt with?
Doubt it.
I love the way English fans take the moral high ground and talk about problems in the past.....

How long is it since English fans, en masse, wished cancer on the England captain's children?

Is that more acceptable than monkey noises?

Also hasn't an even more recent England captain been disciplined for racial abuse on the pitch?

Hypocritical tubes.
[quote][p][bold]Boosey[/bold] wrote: Was the ref aware of any racist abuse? Did Dave Hughes speak to any officials before he took action? These are the questions that will be asked. If not, he will be seen as taking the law into his own hands and as a result, do you honestly believe that the offending club will be dealt with? Doubt it.[/p][/quote]I love the way English fans take the moral high ground and talk about problems in the past..... How long is it since English fans, en masse, wished cancer on the England captain's children? Is that more acceptable than monkey noises? Also hasn't an even more recent England captain been disciplined for racial abuse on the pitch? Hypocritical tubes. CaptainPC
  • Score: -1

4:32pm Wed 8 Jan 14

soulfulhornet says...

Not sure any of the contributors on here have suggested or are suggesting that problems of racism have been eridacted from the English game. On the contrary, the recent and disgusting incidents involving Terry and also Suares suggest otherwise.

Our club, however, has a tradition of racial tolerance since the days of Blissett and Barnes. On the old Vicarage Rd terrace, I cannot recall hearing torrents of racial abuse directed at opposition players, unlike some clubs like Chelsea West Ham Millwall and Leeds etc at that time.
Sometimes the odd idiot directing expletivesat an individual opposing player but never en masse chanting.

I recall when half a dozen morons directed monkey chants at Luther when we played Bournemouth at Dean Court that created a furore in the WO and in our matchday programme.

I am proud of our club's position on this issue and and I am proud that Dave Hughes is continuing in that tradition and on the principles that Graham Taylor embodied at the club.

As regards the wishing of cancer on an ex England captain's family, now whoever did that really is a tube and a very sad excuse of a human being.
Not sure any of the contributors on here have suggested or are suggesting that problems of racism have been eridacted from the English game. On the contrary, the recent and disgusting incidents involving Terry and also Suares suggest otherwise. Our club, however, has a tradition of racial tolerance since the days of Blissett and Barnes. On the old Vicarage Rd terrace, I cannot recall hearing torrents of racial abuse directed at opposition players, unlike some clubs like Chelsea West Ham Millwall and Leeds etc at that time. Sometimes the odd idiot directing expletivesat an individual opposing player but never en masse chanting. I recall when half a dozen morons directed monkey chants at Luther when we played Bournemouth at Dean Court that created a furore in the WO and in our matchday programme. I am proud of our club's position on this issue and and I am proud that Dave Hughes is continuing in that tradition and on the principles that Graham Taylor embodied at the club. As regards the wishing of cancer on an ex England captain's family, now whoever did that really is a tube and a very sad excuse of a human being. soulfulhornet
  • Score: 2

8:40am Thu 9 Jan 14

CaptainPC says...

soulfulhornet wrote:
Not sure any of the contributors on here have suggested or are suggesting that problems of racism have been eridacted from the English game. On the contrary, the recent and disgusting incidents involving Terry and also Suares suggest otherwise.

Our club, however, has a tradition of racial tolerance since the days of Blissett and Barnes. On the old Vicarage Rd terrace, I cannot recall hearing torrents of racial abuse directed at opposition players, unlike some clubs like Chelsea West Ham Millwall and Leeds etc at that time.
Sometimes the odd idiot directing expletivesat an individual opposing player but never en masse chanting.

I recall when half a dozen morons directed monkey chants at Luther when we played Bournemouth at Dean Court that created a furore in the WO and in our matchday programme.

I am proud of our club's position on this issue and and I am proud that Dave Hughes is continuing in that tradition and on the principles that Graham Taylor embodied at the club.

As regards the wishing of cancer on an ex England captain's family, now whoever did that really is a tube and a very sad excuse of a human being.
Fair enough. Let's agree that racial tolerance is a good thing.

Thing is when Blisset and Barnes were subject to abuse they generally wanted to prove the abusers wrong in their own way, on the pitch.

Racial abuse is just another form of bullying and the best way to silence bullies is to humiliate them. My view is walking off gives them a feeling of power that they don't deserve....
[quote][p][bold]soulfulhornet[/bold] wrote: Not sure any of the contributors on here have suggested or are suggesting that problems of racism have been eridacted from the English game. On the contrary, the recent and disgusting incidents involving Terry and also Suares suggest otherwise. Our club, however, has a tradition of racial tolerance since the days of Blissett and Barnes. On the old Vicarage Rd terrace, I cannot recall hearing torrents of racial abuse directed at opposition players, unlike some clubs like Chelsea West Ham Millwall and Leeds etc at that time. Sometimes the odd idiot directing expletivesat an individual opposing player but never en masse chanting. I recall when half a dozen morons directed monkey chants at Luther when we played Bournemouth at Dean Court that created a furore in the WO and in our matchday programme. I am proud of our club's position on this issue and and I am proud that Dave Hughes is continuing in that tradition and on the principles that Graham Taylor embodied at the club. As regards the wishing of cancer on an ex England captain's family, now whoever did that really is a tube and a very sad excuse of a human being.[/p][/quote]Fair enough. Let's agree that racial tolerance is a good thing. Thing is when Blisset and Barnes were subject to abuse they generally wanted to prove the abusers wrong in their own way, on the pitch. Racial abuse is just another form of bullying and the best way to silence bullies is to humiliate them. My view is walking off gives them a feeling of power that they don't deserve.... CaptainPC
  • Score: -1

10:09am Thu 9 Jan 14

soulfulhornet says...

True, I have some sympathy with the 'I'm going to prove you wrong' approach, but in Barnes/Blissett's era, racial abuse was routine not just from fans, but also from opponents and from teammates. It was considered banter. Proving I'm better than you didn't change a thing, concerted action did slowly over many years with campaigns like Kick It Out and through organisations like the PFA. Recent incidents suggest there is still some way to go.
True, I have some sympathy with the 'I'm going to prove you wrong' approach, but in Barnes/Blissett's era, racial abuse was routine not just from fans, but also from opponents and from teammates. It was considered banter. Proving I'm better than you didn't change a thing, concerted action did slowly over many years with campaigns like Kick It Out and through organisations like the PFA. Recent incidents suggest there is still some way to go. soulfulhornet
  • Score: 1

11:54am Thu 9 Jan 14

Boosey says...

CaptainPC wrote:
soulfulhornet wrote: Not sure any of the contributors on here have suggested or are suggesting that problems of racism have been eridacted from the English game. On the contrary, the recent and disgusting incidents involving Terry and also Suares suggest otherwise. Our club, however, has a tradition of racial tolerance since the days of Blissett and Barnes. On the old Vicarage Rd terrace, I cannot recall hearing torrents of racial abuse directed at opposition players, unlike some clubs like Chelsea West Ham Millwall and Leeds etc at that time. Sometimes the odd idiot directing expletivesat an individual opposing player but never en masse chanting. I recall when half a dozen morons directed monkey chants at Luther when we played Bournemouth at Dean Court that created a furore in the WO and in our matchday programme. I am proud of our club's position on this issue and and I am proud that Dave Hughes is continuing in that tradition and on the principles that Graham Taylor embodied at the club. As regards the wishing of cancer on an ex England captain's family, now whoever did that really is a tube and a very sad excuse of a human being.
Fair enough. Let's agree that racial tolerance is a good thing. Thing is when Blisset and Barnes were subject to abuse they generally wanted to prove the abusers wrong in their own way, on the pitch. Racial abuse is just another form of bullying and the best way to silence bullies is to humiliate them. My view is walking off gives them a feeling of power that they don't deserve....
Have to agree with you on this one Captain but I am sure I will get the thumbs down when I mention sticks and stones. . . ....
[quote][p][bold]CaptainPC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]soulfulhornet[/bold] wrote: Not sure any of the contributors on here have suggested or are suggesting that problems of racism have been eridacted from the English game. On the contrary, the recent and disgusting incidents involving Terry and also Suares suggest otherwise. Our club, however, has a tradition of racial tolerance since the days of Blissett and Barnes. On the old Vicarage Rd terrace, I cannot recall hearing torrents of racial abuse directed at opposition players, unlike some clubs like Chelsea West Ham Millwall and Leeds etc at that time. Sometimes the odd idiot directing expletivesat an individual opposing player but never en masse chanting. I recall when half a dozen morons directed monkey chants at Luther when we played Bournemouth at Dean Court that created a furore in the WO and in our matchday programme. I am proud of our club's position on this issue and and I am proud that Dave Hughes is continuing in that tradition and on the principles that Graham Taylor embodied at the club. As regards the wishing of cancer on an ex England captain's family, now whoever did that really is a tube and a very sad excuse of a human being.[/p][/quote]Fair enough. Let's agree that racial tolerance is a good thing. Thing is when Blisset and Barnes were subject to abuse they generally wanted to prove the abusers wrong in their own way, on the pitch. Racial abuse is just another form of bullying and the best way to silence bullies is to humiliate them. My view is walking off gives them a feeling of power that they don't deserve....[/p][/quote]Have to agree with you on this one Captain but I am sure I will get the thumbs down when I mention sticks and stones. . . .... Boosey
  • Score: 0

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