The Professional Footballers' Association (PFA) have stated that they are ‘disappointed’ after the FA decided to not take Adebayo Akinfenwa’s complaint of alleged racial abuse further ‘due to a lack of evidence’.

The Wycombe Wanderers forward claimed he was called a ‘buffalo’ during the Chairboys’ League One play-off semi-final second leg against Fleetwood Town on July 6, by one of the club’s representatives.

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Wycombe drew the game 2-2 on the night at Adams Park, but won 6-3 on aggregate before defeating Oxford United at Wembley in the final, to be promoted to the Championship.

In their statement, the PFA said: “The PFA is disappointed that the FA has decided not to carry forward Wycombe Wanderers’ complaint of alleged racial abuse from a Fleetwood Town representative toward Adebayo Akinfenwa due to a lack of evidence.

“It is abundantly clear that a white player with a similar stature to Akinfenwa would never be described in the way he was during this incident.

“Black people have battled dehumanisation for centuries, and the PFA strongly condemns the use of all disparaging remarks that compare black players to animals.

“This type of hurtful, derogatory language is unacceptable, regardless of intent, and Adebayo showed great courage in coming forward to report this incident, which tarnished what should have been a night of celebration for Wycombe Wanderers.

“We recently published a report about racial bias in football commentary, and this incident demonstrates that bias extends to problematic language casually used on our pitches and in the dugouts.

“We encourage every football stakeholder to read our report, acknowledge the impact of the language they use – consciously or unconsciously – to describe black players and take steps to address their bias.

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“We share Adebayo’s disappointment that this has allegation will not be upheld, especially since he took steps to speak publicly about the incident’s emotional impact.

“We are in contact with Adebayo, and will continue to offer him our support.”

Wycombe also issued a statement of their own.

They said: “Wycombe Wanderers acknowledge the statement issued by the Football Association today (Thursday) in relation to a formal complaint which was made following the use of discriminatory language towards its player Adebayo Akinfenwa in July.

“The club disagrees with the conclusion of the Football Association (FA). The investigation confirms that the language was used.

“There is no place in sport for such comments.

“The club believes the FA had the opportunity to take appropriate steps to ensure the conduct was punished appropriately and to make sure that everyone knows that this type of comment will not be tolerated in the future.

“The failure of the FA to act is disappointing.”

An excerpt from the FA’s statement read: “The FA interviewed a number of witnesses, including players and staff from WWFC and FTFC, as well as two match officials.

"The witness accounts all confirmed the use of the term ‘water buffalo’ or ‘buffalo’.

“However, some witnesses did not consider the term to be discriminatory and did not consider it to have been used in a discriminatory manner.

"Others were unsure whether the term was discriminatory.

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“Some witnesses stated they did consider the term to be discriminatory.

“The match officials confirmed that they had received no complaint regarding the comment either during or after the game and so the discrimination protocol had not been enacted.

"Both match officials confirmed that the alleged term had been used.

“One of which confirmed it was during a dialogue between himself and a member of FTFC during which the member of FTFC was describing the actions of the WWFC player.

"Both match officials confirmed that they had not interpreted the words to be discriminatory in either nature or context which was why no red card had been issued to the member of FTFC.

"The member of FTFC accepted using the alleged words but denied that they were used in a discriminatory context and were instead used to describe the player's actions.”