Martinez commends referee

Published on 31 January, 2016 
By: Mark Williams

Everton manager Roberto Martinez praised referee Lee Mason after striker Arouna Kone allegedly suffered racist abuse in the FA Cup fourth-round win over Carlisle United.

Kone put the visitors ahead after just two minutes at Brunton Park and both he and team-mate Steven Pienaar appeared upset by some shouts from the crowd as they celebrated.

A tannoy announcement warned supporters against abusive language and Cumbria police put out a statement shortly afterwards to appeal for members of the crowd to report any incidents of racist behaviour they may have heard.

Mason made the decision to issue the announcement after consultation with Martinez and Carlisle boss Keith Curle, and the Spaniard was full of praise for the officials' handling of events.

"I thought it was dealt with in a good manner," he said after the match to BT Sport. "Straight away the Carlisle manager Keith Curle and myself, we agreed to make an announcement.

"I thought the referee dealt with that well. The worry was it would be a 90 minutes of abuse but it was just a reaction to a goal being celebrated."

Curle insisted the club will identify those responsible and urged fans to come forward with any information, saying: "It's not what we want inside our club, inside football or inside society.

"The club will make all the efforts - I know they've got stewards and CCTV. The football club will not stop to identify who it was.

"[It was the] ref's decision to do the tannoy announcement, to highlight it and make sure it doesn't happen again. If you heard anything please step forward and identify who was responsible."

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