FA pledges support to Watford

Blackpool Citizen: The Watford Under-19 side were playing Italian team Latina in the Wojtyla Cup The Watford Under-19 side were playing Italian team Latina in the Wojtyla Cup

The Football Association is investigating the circumstances surrounding a Watford youth team being taken off the pitch after apparently suffering racist abuse during a tournament in Italy.

The FA has offered its support to the club - the team are due to return from the under-19 tournament later on Friday and Watford manager Gianfranco Zola said the full details of the incident should then become clear.

Zola said it appeared the incident had involved players rather than spectators.

An FA spokesman said: "We have made enquiries to the club to find out what has happened and have offered our assistance and support."

The Watford side were playing Italian team Latina in the Wojtyla Cup - named after the late Pope John Paul II - in Rome on Wednesday when they were taken off by coach Dave Hughes following an incident.

Zola told BBC Three Counties Radio: "Apparently there had been some bad tackles and some racist words used.

"What happened is not nice and if there is something we can do, we'll do it.

"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 want to find out more about what happened from the organisers. I need to have the bigger picture before commenting any more."

Zola added: "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."

Anti-racism group Kick It Out is also investigating the incident.

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