Furman: Abuse was disgraceful
Last Updated: January 7, 2012 2:23pm
Adeyemi: Is visibly upset by crowd abuse
Oldham captain Dean Furman has branded the abuse suffered by Tom Adeyemi in Friday's 5-1 FA Cup defeat at Liverpool an "absolute disgrace".
Towards the end of the game the 20-year-old, on loan from Norwich, appeared to take offence to something shouted from the Kop.
Despite reassurance from his team-mates, plus Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard and forward Dirk Kuyt, the right-back was visibly upset and tearful.
The matter was reported to match officials and subsequently the police, who have confirmed they have launched an investigation into the matter.
Liverpool, who have only just finished dealing with the fall-out from Luis Suarez's eight-match ban for racially abusing Manchester United's Patrice Evra, are also looking into the circumstances surrounding the incident.
Furman declined to comment on whether the insult was of a racial nature.
"He was abused and I'll leave it to Tom and the police to investigate that," Furman told BBC Radio Manchester.
"What happened should not happen in the game.
"It has been highlighted over the last few months and it is an absolute disgrace."
When pressed as to whether the abuse was of a racial nature, Furman added: "It is difficult for me to say anything.
"When one of your boys is down like that we all feel it.
"Tom, the authorities and police will sort out the situation.
"I hope the authorities take heavy action because it was a disgrace.
"A lot of credit goes to Tom for the way he handled the situation."
Liverpool said after the game that they were working with police in an attempt to ascertain what happened.
"An incident occurred in the second half of the match which is now being investigated by both the club and the police," said a club statement.
"We will continue to work with the police to establish the details of what actually happened and will make a further statement in due course."
Merseyside Police said they had begun an investigation but confirmed, contrary to reports, there had been no arrests in relation to the incident.
"Merseyside Police can confirm that no-one has been arrested on suspicion of racially aggravated behaviour during the FA Cup fixture at Anfield," said a police spokesman.
"However, the Force and Liverpool Football Club are investigating following an incident that occurred during the second half of the game.
"The aim of the investigation is to establish the full circumstances surrounding the incident to ascertain if action needs to be taken."
While officials and players from both clubs would not comment on whether the abuse was of a racist nature, former Oldham player Rueben Hazell claims it was after speaking to Adeyemi last night.
The Shrewsbury defender wrote on Twitter: "After the game I went into the Oldham dressing room to catch up with my old mates and spoke to Tom Adeyemi directly about what the altercation with the fan was all about.
"He said he was racially abused by the fan. This is FACT.
"He also said that police want to speak to him and was asking 4 advise (sic) from his team-mates what to do.
"Every1 around him told him 2 go ahead and give his version of events to the police.
"It's time for this kind of behaviour to stop. This isnt acceptable in football or in society and its time 4 black players 2 show a stand like young Tom did.
"As a 20yr old I thought he managed the situation extremely well and it was sad that the incident reduce him 2 tears in what should of been the happiest day of his footballing career to date."
Adeyemi's parent club Norwich spoke to the player on Friday night to offer their support and asked Oldham to keep them informed of developments.
The Canaries have not commented officially, although it is understood they have contacted Liverpool and received assurances the matter will be investigated thoroughly.
Norwich chief executive David McNally wrote on Twitter: "Will pass on your support for Tom. He is ok.
"LFC have assured us that the awful incident will be fully investigated."
Oldham will not comment further on the matter until they have received an update from police.
However, they are happy with the way Liverpool dealt with the matter after the match and the importance they placed on the player's welfare.