Blackburn Rovers and Birmingham City have issued statements after Neil Etheridge reported being racially abused.

The game was paused for several minutes, with referee Keith Stroud speaking with both benches soon after Jordan James’ equalising goal.

Blues boss John Eustace said the game was held up due to alleged racist comments towards goalkeeper Etheridge, who has Filipino heritage.

Lancashire Police have confirmed they are aware of the alleged incident and are investigating.

Rovers said in a statement: “Blackburn Rovers is aware of allegations of racist abuse reported to the match officials by Birmingham City goalkeeper Neil Etheridge during today’s FA Cup fourth round tie at Ewood Park.

“Referee Keith Stroud notified the players and managers of both clubs of the alleged incident, which will now be fully investigated by Blackburn Rovers and the relevant authorities.

“Allegations of this nature are taken extremely seriously.

“The club has a zero tolerance policy for all forms of abuse and discrimination, and will take the strongest possible action against any individuals identified for committing such offences.

“No further comment will be made at this time.”

Birmingham City also released a statement.

It read: “The club can confirm that during the second-half of Saturday’s Emirates FA Cup tie against Blackburn Rovers, after the game’s fourth goal, Neil Etheridge reported an incident of racism to the referee.

“Subsequently, the match official, Keith Stroud, delayed the restart and spoke to the head coaches and captains of each side as per competition protocol.

“This will be included in the official’s match report and the Club will assist the FA and the authorities accordingly.

“Blues gives its full support to Neil. There is no room for racism in the game.

“No further comment will be made at this time.”

Speaking about the alleged incident, Blues boss Eustace said: “Neil was racially abused which is bang out of order. There’s no room for racism in society, let alone football.

“It’s really disappointing that’s happened and as a football club we don’t condone it and are fully behind Neil.”

Eustace confirmed the alleged comments were made from behind the goal at the Blackburn End.

“You would be (extremely angry), there’s no room for it in football so it’s completely wrong,” he added.

“It’s a very, very, very serious issue.

“There’s no room in society, let alone football, for any form of racism.”

Asked what will happen now, Eustace said: “The referee will report it and then there will be further action taken from there.”

A spokesperson for Lancashire Police said: "This has been reported to us and is being investigated."