A group of black footballers were asked to pay for their Pizza Hut meal up front it because of the way they looked.

The five players, from League One side AFC Bournemouth, were astounded at their treatment – and claim a group of white men were not asked to do the same.

“We ordered our food. The manager came up with the bill and said: ‘Would you mind paying first?’ We asked if that was the policy and he said ‘no’,” midfielder Anton Robinson, (above), 24, said.

“When we asked why he had asked us, he said: ‘It’s the way you look.'”

“We had a good idea what he was trying to get at. A group of white kids came in straight after us and they weren’t asked to pay before they had their food. The only thing that was different was the colour of our skins.”

He said the players were all smartly dressed and well-behaved as they were aware they were representing the club at all times.

After the comment the players refused to pay in advance and poilce were called. No arrests were made and Robinson said other customers told police the players had done nothing wrong.

On its website, AFC Bournemouth expressed disappointment at Pizza Hut’s stance.

“In this day and age, it is upsetting to hear that people are treated differently because of the colour of their skin, and at AFC Bournemouth we will not condone any treatment of people in such a way,” a statement read.

A Pizza Hut spokesman told metro.co.uk the men had been treated ‘shabbily’.

 “While our duty manager’s actions were absolutely not racially motivated, we are very sorry for the way this was handled,” the spokesman said.