Blanchette: club have addressed Wyer abuse

  • Top referee Martin Wyer

Vashun Blanchette, the Somerset Cricket Club president, insists that his club have addressed the antisocial behaviour that marred an FA Cup quarter-final match at his club’s venue last month.

Top referee Martin Wyer threatened to abandon the February 17 tie between Somerset Trojans and Dandy Town after receiving racist abuse insults by supporters on the lower-level porch of the clubhouse.

The Englishman was bombarded by a barrage of obscenities and, after deciding that enough was enough, advised match commissioner Manny Faria that he would halt proceedings if the behaviour persisted.

The unruly behaviour was later condemned by the Bermuda Football Association, Ben Smith, the Shadow Minister for Social Development, Sport and National Security as well as Somerset, who issued a written apology to Wyer and the Bermuda Referees Association. Somerset also said they would launch an internal investigation regarding the abusive incident.

When asked about the findings of their investigation, Blanchette said yesterday: “Somerset Cricket Club have looked into the matter and individuals have been addressed as relates to the matter.

“In addition to addressing those individuals, we have updated our overall game-day crowd-management protocols with immediate effect.”

However, Blanchette refused to budge when asked whether the individuals involved have been banned from the club’s premises.

“We have addressed the situation, Somerset Cricket Club has done its due diligence,” Blanchette added.

“We already publicly expressed our apology to the Bermuda Referees Association. The individuals have been addressed and the matter is now closed.”

The Royal Gazette also reached out to the BFA yesterday to determine whether it has taken any disciplinary action, but did not receive a response.

Wyer quit officiating during the 2014-15 season after being racially abused during an FA Cup quarter-final between Flanagan’s Onions and PHC Zebras at Goose Gosling Field.

He also walked away from the game during the 2013-14 season after a similar incident at St John’s Field.