FA to investigate Wycombe striker Adebayo Akinfenwa's statement about 'water buffalo' remarks in Fleetwood Town match

Adebayo Akinfenwa has released a statement about comments in Monday's match against Fleetwood TownAdebayo Akinfenwa has released a statement about comments in Monday's match against Fleetwood Town
Adebayo Akinfenwa has released a statement about comments in Monday's match against Fleetwood Town
The FA is to investigate following a statement by Wycombe Wanderers striker Adebayo Akinfenwa which says he was repeatedly called a "fat water buffalo"  by a Fleetwood Town representative in Monday's play-off match. semi-final second leg.

The 38-year-old striker's statement was published last night on his Twitter account and on the official Wycombe Wanderers website.

An FA spokesperson told Sky Sports News: “We have been made aware of the allegations and will be investigating the matter.”

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Monday's League One Play-off semi-final second leg at Wycombe's Adams Park ended in a 2-2 draw, meaning the Chairboys were 6-3 aggregate winners and will face Oxford United in next Monday's final.

Akinfenwa's statement reads: "Monday night was one of the highlights of my career with Wycombe so far as we secured our place in the League One play-off final at Wembley. However, what should have been an evening of joy and excitement quickly turned into one of anger and frustration.

"Historically, I have been subjected to and have experienced abuse across a number of areas and about many things, including my size but also about the colour of my skin.

"Throughout my life I have had to deal with many forms of racial abuse, both overt racism as well as covert racism.

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"As a footballer, I have experienced the same throughout my career, dating back to when I suffered severe and widespread racism in Lithuania.

"I have always vowed to stand up and have a voice when it comes to racism, believing that education is ultimately the key to a future without racial discrimination.

"Following the conclusion of the game I learned that a representative of the opposition had repeatedly referred to me as a Fat 'Water Buffalo' in a derogatory tone.

"Regardless of whether or not there was deliberate racial intent by using that language and irrespective of the context in which it was used, if we are to make real and longstanding change we must strive to educate each other about these issues.

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"We must work together to ensure those who have not and do not face racial prejudice understand that what may appear to them to be a throwaway remark can have such a big and hurtful impact.

"I believe that it dehumanises me as a black man by associating me to a water buffalo, a dark animal, in a derogatory manner.

"I feel passionately around raising this because we as a sport and as society must wake up. We must do more.

"We must educate ourselves and understand the potential repercussions of using such language and be aware of the hurt it can cause.

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"The bigger issue to me would be the lack of understanding as to why calling me this term would not be hurtful to me as a black man and this must change.

"Taking a knee, supporting social media campaigns and wearing a logo on our kits is a start, but it is not enough. It will not result in real and longstanding change.

"The real work must start now and the only way to move forward collectively is through education. We must all play our part #BlackLivesMatter."

Akinfenwa's club stated: "Wycombe Wanderers is fully supportive of our players and back all campaigns to end all forms of discrimination. The FA have been made aware of the allegations. Neither the player or club will be making any further statements at this stage."

Fleetwood Town have been contacted.