Former West Ham players representing the club at a seven-a-side soccer tournament in North Carolina walked off the pitch after alleged racial abuse.
The alleged incident occurred against Dallas United in The Soccer Tournament (TST) on Thursday evening. Dallas have withdrawn from the $1.25m (£1m) competition following the West Ham team’s walk-off, which came towards the end of the game with Dallas leading 2-0.
Anton Ferdinand, Carlton Cole, Matt Jarvis, Marlon Harewood, Frank Nouble, Zavon Hines and Jimmy Walker are among the players taking part in North Carolina. It has not been confirmed what was said, or to which player, but Ferdinand reportedly told media at the game that the players had left the field due to racism.
“After conducting an investigation into the final moments of the match between West Ham United and Dallas United, we have concluded that Dallas United violated TST’s code of conduct,” read a statement from the organisers.
“We have been in dialogue with leadership from both clubs and we are all aligned that the best path forward is Dallas United withdrawing from [the] competition. All parties involved are unified in wanting to make a statement against racial insensitivity.
“We seek to run an event that is not only fiercely high stakes for all competitors, but also one in which all competitors feel safe and protected,” TST added. “As a result, tomorrow’s game between Dallas United and Far East United has been cancelled.”
The referee reportedly told players he did not hear what was said, before West Ham decided to walk off the pitch. Wolves, Borussia Dortmund and Wrexham are among the other European teams who have former players taking part in the event.
Dallas United wrote on Twitter: “In light of the shadow cast by an opposing player’s accusation during tonight’s match, the Dallas United players unanimously decided to withdraw from the remainder of the competition.
“Our coaches and staff fully support the team’s decision. We thank TST 7v7 for the opportunity to compete in the tournament.”