- Associated Press - Sunday, January 31, 2016

CARLISLE, England (AP) - Police are investigating the alleged racial abuse of Everton players during their team’s FA Cup win at Carlisle on Sunday. The alleged incident occurred in the fourth-round game after Everton opened the scoring in the second minute through Ivory Coast striker Arouna Kone, who is black.

A public address system message warned fans that racist abuse would not be tolerated, and local police issued the same message on Twitter, asking anyone with information to report it.

Everton manager Roberto Martinez said it was his understanding some “racial remarks” had come from the Warwick Road End stand as Kone and Steven Pienaar, who is also black, celebrated the goal.

Martinez said both were “hurt” by what they heard.

A statement issued by local police after the game said: “Cumbria Constabulary are investigating allegations of racist behaviour… directed towards Everton players following the first goal.

“Officers are making enquiries and the force is asking for those with information to get in touch.”

The decision to give the warning over the address system followed a discussion between Martinez and Carlisle coach Keith Curle.

“We agreed to make an announcement. I thought the referee was very good in how he dealt with that,” Martinez said.

“It was just a reaction, something that we don’t want to see. It was just a reaction to the celebration of the goal and that was it. It would be wrong to highlight such a moment in an enjoyable footballing festivity.”

Curle called on fans to help with the investigations and said that punishment would follow for any racist abuse by the team’s supporters.

“We will do everything we can to identify who it was and make sure the relevant penalties and punishments will be adhered to,” Curle said.

“I didn’t hear it myself, but what I would say to any supporters who were next to people and heard people - please step forward and identify them, because it is not accepted.”

Premier League Everton went on to win the match 3-0.

Carlisle, in northwest England, plays in the fourth tier of the national game.

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