The first edition of the Trent-Severn Cup ended with the visiting side walking off the pitch at the Fleming Sports Complex in Premier League League1 Ontario on Wednesday night.
Electric City FC and Simcoe County Rovers played to a 1-1 draw until Simcoe County gave up the game in the 88th minute after complaining that a member of Electric City’s supporter group, Current, was playing a racist had used insult against Simcoe County goaltender Yazmeen Jamieson.
Simcoe County head coach Audra Sherman declined to comment but said she would be in contact with the league about an investigation.
ECFC President Rob Jenkins said the Simcoe County goalkeeper complained to the referee that she heard a racial slur come from the fans’ seating area behind her net in the 81st minute.
The umpire notified Jenkins that Simcoe County would not continue play until the supporter’s area was cleared.
Jenkins said he met with members of the support group, who vehemently denied having made or heard such a comment from anyone else. Jenkins said he also consulted with a security guard stationed in the area, who also said he hadn’t heard anything.
Jenkins said he asked fans if they would leave the area to stop the game and they agreed and began leaving when Simcoe County left the field and would not return.
Jenkins said that if an insult could be confirmed, he would have removed the person from the premises.
“This is totally unacceptable,” Jenkins said.
He said it is up to the league to determine whether the game will be ruled a lost or a draw. The league will investigate and make a decision based on the referee’s report and statements from both teams.
Early Thursday morning, Jenkins issued a further statement on the incident, promising a full investigation by his club: “We at ECFC have zero tolerance for racism at our stadium, on the pitch or anywhere at our club. Due to a situation tonight we will be conducting a full investigation into the incident and will be working and collaborating with the league with full transparency.”
“We’re embarrassed,” said ECFC midfielder Hailey Walsh. “We will not accept such behavior.”
ECFC head coach Randy Ribeiro said it was one of the best games of the season before the game ended prematurely.
“I know 100 percent that our club will not tolerate the allegations made,” he said. “I was hoping we could finish the game because it was a fantastic game from both teams and I would have loved to have finished it.”
If the score is 1-1, the men’s game will determine the winner of the inaugural Trent-Severn Cup. This game is scheduled for July 23rd at Fleming College.
“Both teams really played and showed their best,” said ECFC goalkeeper Mykaela Volpe. “I hope the cup goes on because both teams did their best, for the table and for the cup.”
Volpe made a number of good saves in the first half, including a save in the second minute of the game and a breakaway save on Cloey Uddenberg in the nineteenth minute. Uddenberg retaliated 10 minutes later, catching Volpe from position and scoring the first goal of the game with a weak shot.
Just before halftime, Jamieson made a similar save for Simcoe County but knocked the attacker down, resulting in a free kick for ECFC. Marisa Oliveira took the free kick and equalized the game, which caused loud cheers.
“That was a game in which we played very well defensively,” said Ribeiro.
“We limited the opportunities that the opposition could create. Mykaela has been outstanding for us all season but this season we have to give credit to our back four… we defended well and prevented them from creating quality scoring chances.”
The women are back in action on Saturday at 3 p.m. and host first-placed FC London in Fleming.
– with files from Mike Davies, Examiner Sports Director