VIDEO: Young Watford side abandon match in Italy after an alleged racist comment

This Is Local London: David Hughes pulled his players off the pitch yesterday after alleged racist comments David Hughes pulled his players off the pitch yesterday after alleged racist comments

A Watford under-19 side walked off the pitch during a match in Italy yesterday due to alleged racist comments.

Youth team coach David Hughes told his players to leave the field a quarter of an hour into the second half against Latina Calcio, with the Hornets 1-0 down at the time.

It is currently unclear whether the alleged comment was made by an opposition player, member of the coaching staff or supporter.

Hughes this morning refused to comment on the incident, requesting we contact the media department. At present, the club says it is not in a position to comment.

Racism charity Kick It Out made a brief statement on Twitter this morning and told us it will not be making any further comment until it has been able to gather more information.

The statement on Twitter read: "Kick It Out is making enquiries into an alleged racist incident which took place during the 'Wojtyla Cup' fixture between Watford and Latina."

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

The Hornets, whose squad consisted primarily of scholars and few young professionals, were top of their group going into yesterday's match with Latina after beating PFK Lokomotiv Sofia 2-1 on Tuesday and drawing 0-0 against Slovakian outfit FK Senica on Monday.

Latina are an Italian club which plays in Serie B.

Comments (21)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

10:38am Thu 12 Dec 13

peter10531089 says...

Well done David - good to see the club stand up for its values and decency
Well done David - good to see the club stand up for its values and decency peter10531089

11:09am Thu 12 Dec 13

demerit says...

Good on 'im...
Good on 'im... demerit

11:14am Thu 12 Dec 13

abbotshornet says...

Good for them, a stand needs to be made against such unacceptable behavour, let's hope they get the full backing of the authorities.
COYGB's
Good for them, a stand needs to be made against such unacceptable behavour, let's hope they get the full backing of the authorities. COYGB's abbotshornet

12:15pm Thu 12 Dec 13

d.j.smith says...

There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.
There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general. d.j.smith

12:17pm Thu 12 Dec 13

ORBY says...

Well done David, it took a lot of courage to make this decision, but as we all know Fifa are big on rhetoric but weak on action. Let's see where this takes us. I saw the caption on Sky Sports but NO COMMENT from the presenters. I have a sneaking suspicion this will be swept under the carpet and a fine for Watford for walking off.
Well done David, it took a lot of courage to make this decision, but as we all know Fifa are big on rhetoric but weak on action. Let's see where this takes us. I saw the caption on Sky Sports but NO COMMENT from the presenters. I have a sneaking suspicion this will be swept under the carpet and a fine for Watford for walking off. ORBY

12:22pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Bush Hornet says...

Proud to be a Watford fan. Racism is an unacceptable evil. Zero tolerance. Love the stand they've taken.
Proud to be a Watford fan. Racism is an unacceptable evil. Zero tolerance. Love the stand they've taken. Bush Hornet

12:46pm Thu 12 Dec 13

ramage1996 says...

d.j.smith wrote:
There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.
David Hughes showed principles that you would want associated with Watford FC, he thought there was racist behavior against his player(s) so he acted.

You seem to think that this racist behavior should be accepted which shows you up as a bit of a t**t.
[quote][p][bold]d.j.smith[/bold] wrote: There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.[/p][/quote]David Hughes showed principles that you would want associated with Watford FC, he thought there was racist behavior against his player(s) so he acted. You seem to think that this racist behavior should be accepted which shows you up as a bit of a t**t. ramage1996

12:48pm Thu 12 Dec 13

soulfulhornet says...

Without the full facts, it is impossible to draw too many conclusions, however, I would trust that David Hughes would not withdraw the players on a whim or for nefarious reasons.

Racism is unacceptable in football as it is in society, so I back Hughes' decision unless/until his motives are not what they appear to be.

Our club, since Graham Taylor's first tenure, has always stood for certain principles. I am proud of our club's reputation and what it stands for and applaud the decision. It is just a shame that in 2013 such gestures still seem to be necessary.
Without the full facts, it is impossible to draw too many conclusions, however, I would trust that David Hughes would not withdraw the players on a whim or for nefarious reasons. Racism is unacceptable in football as it is in society, so I back Hughes' decision unless/until his motives are not what they appear to be. Our club, since Graham Taylor's first tenure, has always stood for certain principles. I am proud of our club's reputation and what it stands for and applaud the decision. It is just a shame that in 2013 such gestures still seem to be necessary. soulfulhornet

12:51pm Thu 12 Dec 13

mkhornet says...

d.j.smith wrote:
There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.
I agree that a lot needs to be clarified before anyone can form a valid opinion. However, if racist comments were being made to our players and we protested and made it clear that we would walk off if the comments continued then I feel that we would be fully justified in walking off if the comments did continue. If we have just walked off without making our feelings clear first then maybe it's a different issue. As for walking off the pitch becoming a worrying trend that could ruin the game of football, surely continuing racism at grounds (particularly but not solely on the continent) is a more worrying trend that is going to ruin the game.
[quote][p][bold]d.j.smith[/bold] wrote: There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.[/p][/quote]I agree that a lot needs to be clarified before anyone can form a valid opinion. However, if racist comments were being made to our players and we protested and made it clear that we would walk off if the comments continued then I feel that we would be fully justified in walking off if the comments did continue. If we have just walked off without making our feelings clear first then maybe it's a different issue. As for walking off the pitch becoming a worrying trend that could ruin the game of football, surely continuing racism at grounds (particularly but not solely on the continent) is a more worrying trend that is going to ruin the game. mkhornet

1:11pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Maclanx says...

mkhornet wrote:
d.j.smith wrote:
There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.
I agree that a lot needs to be clarified before anyone can form a valid opinion. However, if racist comments were being made to our players and we protested and made it clear that we would walk off if the comments continued then I feel that we would be fully justified in walking off if the comments did continue. If we have just walked off without making our feelings clear first then maybe it's a different issue. As for walking off the pitch becoming a worrying trend that could ruin the game of football, surely continuing racism at grounds (particularly but not solely on the continent) is a more worrying trend that is going to ruin the game.
Bang on. If that sort of behavior occurs why not walk off the pitch? I've seen incidents in the past (on TV) and wished the players did walk off out of principle.

Great save at 5:27 btw.
[quote][p][bold]mkhornet[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]d.j.smith[/bold] wrote: There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.[/p][/quote]I agree that a lot needs to be clarified before anyone can form a valid opinion. However, if racist comments were being made to our players and we protested and made it clear that we would walk off if the comments continued then I feel that we would be fully justified in walking off if the comments did continue. If we have just walked off without making our feelings clear first then maybe it's a different issue. As for walking off the pitch becoming a worrying trend that could ruin the game of football, surely continuing racism at grounds (particularly but not solely on the continent) is a more worrying trend that is going to ruin the game.[/p][/quote]Bang on. If that sort of behavior occurs why not walk off the pitch? I've seen incidents in the past (on TV) and wished the players did walk off out of principle. Great save at 5:27 btw. Maclanx

1:27pm Thu 12 Dec 13

JohnnyBarnes says...

d.j.smith wrote:
There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.
Where will it end?

With racism firmly a thing of the past.

It's correct that we don't have definitive evidence yet, but on the assumption that something WAS said, there has to be absolutely zero tolerance to it. Nevermind debating a sliding scale of misconduct - "well, it was only a couple of people, the game doesn't have to end for the majority" - even a single comment warrants a walkout in my book.

Well done boys.
[quote][p][bold]d.j.smith[/bold] wrote: There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.[/p][/quote]Where will it end? With racism firmly a thing of the past. It's correct that we don't have definitive evidence yet, but on the assumption that something WAS said, there has to be absolutely zero tolerance to it. Nevermind debating a sliding scale of misconduct - "well, it was only a couple of people, the game doesn't have to end for the majority" - even a single comment warrants a walkout in my book. Well done boys. JohnnyBarnes

1:29pm Thu 12 Dec 13

mooneysmagic says...

Would the first team walk off if a similar situation arose?
Would the first team walk off if a similar situation arose? mooneysmagic

1:38pm Thu 12 Dec 13

ramage1996 says...

mooneysmagic wrote:
Would the first team walk off if a similar situation arose?
Whether the first team would walk off or not in the same situation was irrelevant to David Hughes, some times in life you are put on the spot and have to make a tough call.
Hughes showed himself to have bottle and be a man of principles, a lesser man would have bottled it and said/done nothing.
[quote][p][bold]mooneysmagic[/bold] wrote: Would the first team walk off if a similar situation arose?[/p][/quote]Whether the first team would walk off or not in the same situation was irrelevant to David Hughes, some times in life you are put on the spot and have to make a tough call. Hughes showed himself to have bottle and be a man of principles, a lesser man would have bottled it and said/done nothing. ramage1996

1:51pm Thu 12 Dec 13

ChrisG85 says...

d.j.smith wrote:
There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.
What exactly justified these actions were alleged racist comments. From watching the video I see no complaints or questions from the Watford team as they walk off the pitch, just a manager who has made the decision to remove his team and congratulating them as they make their way back to the dressing room. Further, there seems to be very little complaint from officials or opposition players or staff. What could be terrible for the game is racist abuse. It should not and will not ever be accepted, so yes, such "drastic" action should be taken to abandon the game. It will end when people stop living in the dark ages and pick their knuckles up off the floor and quit hurling racist abuse at others. Some things are bigger than football and I apologise for the majority who don't accept racism which is ruining the game of football in general for you.
[quote][p][bold]d.j.smith[/bold] wrote: There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.[/p][/quote]What exactly justified these actions were alleged racist comments. From watching the video I see no complaints or questions from the Watford team as they walk off the pitch, just a manager who has made the decision to remove his team and congratulating them as they make their way back to the dressing room. Further, there seems to be very little complaint from officials or opposition players or staff. What could be terrible for the game is racist abuse. It should not and will not ever be accepted, so yes, such "drastic" action should be taken to abandon the game. It will end when people stop living in the dark ages and pick their knuckles up off the floor and quit hurling racist abuse at others. Some things are bigger than football and I apologise for the majority who don't accept racism which is ruining the game of football in general for you. ChrisG85

2:06pm Thu 12 Dec 13

a1derek says...

I did read one report that said David Hughes was heard to say "what did he just say"? The same report sugested a very offensive racist word was heard to have been said at the young Watford player that had just committed a foul tackle.

However, as others have said, this is not confirmed, but I cannot see such action being taken without the provocation. Our U18 coaching staff are experienced and play many games and tournaments. Fortunately we are more advanced in this area here in the U.K. but in some areas of Europe it is still common.

I also hope that if the case is proven we are fully backed by the authorities.
I did read one report that said David Hughes was heard to say "what did he just say"? The same report sugested a very offensive racist word was heard to have been said at the young Watford player that had just committed a foul tackle. However, as others have said, this is not confirmed, but I cannot see such action being taken without the provocation. Our U18 coaching staff are experienced and play many games and tournaments. Fortunately we are more advanced in this area here in the U.K. but in some areas of Europe it is still common. I also hope that if the case is proven we are fully backed by the authorities. a1derek

2:49pm Thu 12 Dec 13

demerit says...

d.j.smith wrote:
There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.
What's "football"? Is it a game where all the players sing racist chants at each other?
[quote][p][bold]d.j.smith[/bold] wrote: There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.[/p][/quote]What's "football"? Is it a game where all the players sing racist chants at each other? demerit

4:23pm Thu 12 Dec 13

luther blissett says...

d.j.smith wrote:
There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.
You make me so proud to be a Watford fan
[quote][p][bold]d.j.smith[/bold] wrote: There's a lot of assumptions being made in these comments with absolutely no evidence to back them up. Personally I view this video with alarm and I would want to know what exactly justified such drastic action. It would have to be something really serious to provide grounds to have such young players walk off and it sets a precedent that could be terrible for the game. Do we really want teams to abandon matches in this way? Where will it end? I accept that when we have the full explanation it may be that the 'crime' justified a unilateral decision to end the game, but it had better be serious enough to do that. Meantime I find this action to be extreme and part of a worrying trend which could ruin the game of fotoball in general.[/p][/quote]You make me so proud to be a Watford fan luther blissett

11:23pm Thu 12 Dec 13

Boosey says...

If the football authorities had zero tolerance, we wouldn't be having this debate.
Are there any guidelines for the clubs if there is racist abuse? I doubt it.
Was it right or wrong in the authorities eyes for Watford to leave the field?
Who knows?
The governing bodies are to blame for not having the balls to clamp down in the first place.
When a team is losing a major game which could cost the club millions, the idea, put to these racists would be to get the opposing team to walk off, is that the right way to go?
If the football authorities had zero tolerance, we wouldn't be having this debate. Are there any guidelines for the clubs if there is racist abuse? I doubt it. Was it right or wrong in the authorities eyes for Watford to leave the field? Who knows? The governing bodies are to blame for not having the balls to clamp down in the first place. When a team is losing a major game which could cost the club millions, the idea, put to these racists would be to get the opposing team to walk off, is that the right way to go? Boosey

5:53am Fri 13 Dec 13

Peter_R says...

Well done, I for one am proud of the action taken by David Hughes. Actions like he took will in some small measure help to eradicate racism in our society, Well done David.
Well done, I for one am proud of the action taken by David Hughes. Actions like he took will in some small measure help to eradicate racism in our society, Well done David. Peter_R

11:06am Fri 13 Dec 13

Cuetip says...

Peter_R wrote:
Well done, I for one am proud of the action taken by David Hughes. Actions like he took will in some small measure help to eradicate racism in our society, Well done David.
Absolutely bang on. It's the closeted ones not the overt ones that really are dangerous in the job market and the education as well as political systems and organisations that hide behind meaningless equality policies.
[quote][p][bold]Peter_R[/bold] wrote: Well done, I for one am proud of the action taken by David Hughes. Actions like he took will in some small measure help to eradicate racism in our society, Well done David.[/p][/quote]Absolutely bang on. It's the closeted ones not the overt ones that really are dangerous in the job market and the education as well as political systems and organisations that hide behind meaningless equality policies. Cuetip

5:39pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Chris the Vic says...

If the comments were made, then the authorities need to back Hughes action to the hilt and ask the officials why they did not follow the guidelines and also punish the miscreant
If the comments were made, then the authorities need to back Hughes action to the hilt and ask the officials why they did not follow the guidelines and also punish the miscreant Chris the Vic

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
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