FA write to Everton for information over Emre racism row

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The Independent Football

The Football Association is to ask Everton to shed light on allegations of racist abuse made against the Newcastle United midfielder Emre Belozoglu after it was confirmed the referee Dermot Gallagher has included a complaint in his official match report.

Gallagher, who took charge of Everton's 3-0 victory over Glenn Roeder's side on Saturday, did not hear comments allegedly made by the Turkey international towards Everton's goalkeeper Tim Howard and defender Joleon Lescott but was informed racist remarks had been voiced during a fracas that followed the award of a Newcastle penalty at Goodison Park.

Although Everton's manager, David Moyes, Roeder and several players did not expand on the incident after the game, the Goodison club has received complaints from supporters stationed behind the Gwladys Street goal where the penalty was conceded and the FA are seeking co-operation from the club after receiving Gallagher's report yesterday.

An FA spokesman confirmed: "We have received the referee's report and he mentions that an allegation was made, but he did not hear anything himself. We will be writing to Everton to request any further information with which they can provide us."

The FA are particularly interested in Howard's version of events. He is believed to have been the victim of the alleged abuse, although the silence that currently prevails over the matter will have to be broken for any disciplinary action to be taken. "The FA have spoken to the club and we will be discussing the matter with them in the next few days," said an Everton spokesman last night.

In November, Leicester's Danny Tiatto escaped an investigation into accusations he racially abused Salif Diao after the man who made the claims, Stoke's captain, Michael Duberry, did not lodge a formal complaint, and the FA will be powerless to act against Emre if those involved at Everton follow suit.

Moyes, meanwhile, is monitoring Barry Ferguson's situation at Rangers and will be interested in the Scottish international if he becomes available on loan. Moyestried to sign him in 2003 but could not match the financial package on offer from Blackburn.