Police are investigating allegations of racial abuse directed towards former England star Ashley Cole during the FA Cup third round tie between Swindon Town and Manchester City. 

Cole, who played for Arsenal and Chelsea, was part of the ITV broadcast team as an analyst for the anticipated clash and was often seen at a desk on the pitch which was near home fans before the game, during half time and after the final whistle.

Swindon lost the game 4-1 but made a good showing of themselves with a goal and a penalty save.

Swindon Town condemned the abuse, issued an apologised to Cole and said the club was working with police to find those responsible.  

Swindon owner Clem Morfuni said in a statement: “We are absolutely saddened and deeply disgusted by this, and we cannot stress strongly enough that racial abuse of any kind will not be tolerated by Swindon Town FC.

“Racism has no place in the world, and it is incredibly heartbreaking that this still has a place in our game.

“We are currently working with Wiltshire Police on gathering evidence, but those responsible will be punished accordingly.

“On behalf of everyone at Swindon Town FC, we send out our heartfelt apologies to Ashley Cole, and it is with our deepest regret that you had to experience that last night.

“Those few individuals do not represent Swindon Town and will not be welcome at the County Ground.”

Superintendent Phil Staynings, Swindon commander, said: “We are aware that one person was subject to racial abuse at the County Ground following the Swindon Town v Manchester City game.

“We have already commenced an investigation, obtaining statements and securing CCTV.

“Further inquiries in relation to this incident are ongoing. Behaviour of this nature is completely unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”

In the post-game analyis segment the broadcast team did have to move from the corner of the pitch as they had streamers thrown at them, security could also be seen surrounding them. 

When they returned onto screen for the next segment they were in the centre circle, and when they returned to the broadcast desk following that, Cole mentioned he'd recieved some abuse. 

After finishing the broadcast, Cole also carried out a touching act of kindness for a fan who attended the game when he facetimed the fan's father who was ill in Great Western Hospital.



Anyone with information should call 101.