Adebayo Akinfenwa: Wycombe striker says he was racially abused in play-off tie

Adebayo Akinfenwa’s Wycombe will meet Oxford in the League One play-off final at Wembley

Wycombe’s Adebayo Akinfenwa says he was racially abused during Monday’s League One play-off match against Fleetwood.

The 38-year-old striker says he found out after the game that he was was referred to as a “fat water buffalo” by a representative from the opposition.

“I believe it dehumanises me as a black man by associating me to a water buffalo, a dark animal, in a derogatory manner,” Akinfenwa said in a statement.

The Football Association has been made aware of the allegation.

Fleetwood, who were beaten 6-3 on aggregate after the game at Adams Park finished as a 2-2 draw, have yet to comment.

“Monday night was one of the highlights of my career with Wycombe,” added Akinfenwa. “However, what should have been an evening of joy and excitement quickly turned into one of anger and frustration.

“Regardless of whether or not there was deliberate racial intent by using that language, if we are to make real and long-standing change then we must strive to educate each other about these issues.”

Akinfenwa, who suffered racist abuse earlier in his career while playing in Lithuania, believes education is “ultimately the key” to a future without racial discrimination.

Players and staff across all four top divisions in England have been taking a knee before kick-off at all matches since the 2019-20 campaign resumed in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

“I have always vowed to stand up and have a voice when it comes to racism,” said the former Swansea, Northampton, Gillingham and AFC Wimbledon man.

“We must work together to ensure those who have not and do not face racial prejudice understand that what may appear to be them to be a throwaway remark can have such a big and hurtful impact.

“I feel passionately about raising this because we as a sport and as society must wake up. We must do more.

“Taking a knee, supporting social media campaigns and wearing a logo on our kits is a start, but it is not enough. We must all play our part.”

A statement from Wycombe said: “The club fully stands by its players and supports all campaigns to end discrimination.”

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