GUISELEY have issued a statement condemning the racist abuse incident which occurred in their match with Gateshead at Nethermoor last Saturday.

The Vanarama National League North match was halted just before the half an hour mark when referee Kristian Silcock had been made aware of racial abuse from someone in the crowd.

The game was held up for four minutes before the announcement came that Guiseley Football Club would not tolerate any kind of racial or discriminatory behaviour.

The statement read: "Guiseley AFC would like to publicly state that they condemn the incident of racist abuse that occurred in the 29th minute of Saturday’s match against Gateshead FC.

"The incident was brought to the referee’s attention, after continuous repetition of the same phrase towards the same player. Unfortunately, during the post-match meeting with the referee, he was informed of other incidents of repetitious abuse towards another Guiseley player. Both the player and the referee followed the correct FA protocol and both the reported and unreported incidents are logged in the referee’s report.

"We pass our thanks on to the officials, players, and benches of both teams for their positive handling of this issue. The Directors of Gateshead FC were made aware of the incident.

"The club strongly suspect that the abuse came from a visiting spectator but unfortunately in an unsegregated fixture and without a witness identifying the culprit we were unable to get the offender arrested. We advise anyone who may have heard the abuse to contact either club in the strictest confidence.

"If we, as fans and supporters of the club, truly wish to stamp out this heinous stain on football we need to make a stance. Rarely is a racist comment made in isolation, frequently they are repeated, lack of censure emboldens the bigot. If you hear any racist abuse, be it to a player, official or supporter report it immediately to a member of club staff and we will take the relevant action.

"We at Guiseley AFC pride ourselves on being a welcoming friendly club, let us collectively make it a positive place for everyone to enjoy their sport."

Gateshead also published a statement on their website: "Gateshead Football Club would like to issue the following statement in the wake of events which occurred in our Vanarama National League North fixture away to Guiseley on Saturday afternoon.

"On Saturday, February 22, it became apparent that there had been an incident of alleged racial abuse at Nethermoor Park.

"Racism and discrimination of any kind is abhorrent, and has no place whatsoever within football and society as a whole.

"No individual should travel to the sanctuary of a football match only to be subjected to such vile and inexcusable abuse.

"Gateshead Football Club vehemently condemns racist and discriminatory abuse, and we are working with Guiseley AFC to determine those responsible, where swift yet strong action will be taken if necessary.

"Gateshead Football Club is proud to welcome individuals from all walks of life, and we will not stand by and allow incidents such as this to mar our sport."