Ashton Town have suspended one of their players after allegations of racial abuse towards a referee – which led to a match being abandoned before half-time.
Club chairman Mark Hayes says they took swift action against the unnamed player, who denied his comments were racist.
As well as the FA’s investigation, Ashton are carrying out their own probe.
The North West Counties Division One North outfit were trailing 1-1 in the first-half against Cleator Moor Celtic when their player was shown a straight red card for foul and/or abusive language.
Referee Abid Hussain immediately abandoned the match.
Ashton Town issued a statement on Twitter on Tuesday evening, which read: “Saturday was something that I have never experienced before in football, and nor do I want to experience again.
“Our player had just been given a straight red card and sent off from the field of play for using foul and abusive language, which was directed at the matchday referee.
“The referee made me aware that he believed the comment made towards him to be racial, and he abandoned the game immediately.
“The player concerned feels that the alleged remark has been misheard by the referee and although it is accepted that foul and abusive language was used by our player, this was not of racist nature.
“Ashton Town AFC do not condone any of the above, and in the best interest of all parties have relieved our player of playing duties until the formal investigation has been concluded.
“Just to have us within that cloud hurts me as a person, and as a chairman, and I truly hope that this dos not tarnish the club and all the good things that we do.
“This club has a fine reputation, and I hope that it stays that way.”