FA to investigate Derby vs Cardiff incident following Pride Park Stadium evacuation due to flares being set off in away end

14 Sep

An investigation into an incident which led to a stadium evacuation at Derby County’s home ground is under way, the Football Association has confirmed.

Pride Park was evacuated before the Rams’ Championship clash against Cardiff City on Friday night and The Sun has said the governing body are probing the incident.

It is understood that flares were set off by Cardiff fans in the away end which meant the 25,873 crowd were forced to leave the ground just before kick-off.

This is the first time flares have caused a whole stadium to be evacuated in England.

It left supporters stunned when the public announcer informed everyone they had to leave.

The message said: “Attention please, this is an emergency. Please leave the stadium by the nearest available exit.”

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There were also reports of fans without tickets walking back in through the fire exits while paying punters made their way back in.

The match finished 1-1 with Derby man Scott Malone scoring against his former club on six minutes.

However, Phillip Cocu’s side were pegged back with German striker Robert Glatzel scoring a penalty after being fouled by Richard Keogh in the box.

The result leaves Derby without a win in their last six matches in all competitions, while Neil Warnock’s side have drawn their last three in the league.

Glatzel celebrates his first goal in Cardiff colours
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UEFA and FIFA told to act to help stop racist abuse at football games – ‘It shouldn’t be down to the players’, says Glen Johnson

12 Sep

Former England international Glen Johnson has urged FIFA and UEFA to act to help stop racist abuse of players at football games.

Speaking on talkSPORT, the ex-Liverpool defender insisted it should not be left to the stars themselves to decide whether to leave the pitch or not if they hear abusive language, and says the authorities should make that decision instead.

Johnson was reacting to the news that Raheem Sterling was the targeted with racist heckles during England’s 4-0 victory over Bulgaria at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

A fan was kicked out of Wembley on Saturday after a steward heard him directing racial abuse at Raheem Sterling
AFP or licensors

The back pages on Thursday morning were splashed with stories claiming the Three Lions team are set for discussions about walking off the pitch in defiance if they hear any abuse in their return trip to Bulgaria in Euro 2020 qualifying.

The Football Association fear their players could face similar treatment to the abuse they suffered when they faced Montenegro earlier this year, when Sterling, Danny Rose and Callum Hudson-Odoi were the subject of chanting from home fans.

Johnson says he wouldn’t leave the field as he believes that would ‘let the racists win’, although said he would support his other team-mates if they wanted to.

But he believes players shouldn’t even have to make that decision if abuse from the crowd is so obvious.

Speaking to talkSPORT hosts Jim White and Natalie Sawyer, he said: “A fan got chucked out for racially abusing Raheem and I think a few guys are expecting something similar in the next game.

“There’s a lot of talk now about whether the lads are going to walk off the pitch, but to be honest I don’t think the players should have to make that decision.

“I personally wouldn’t want to walk off, because at the end of the day you want to do your job and play the game. By walking off you are kind of letting them win, because all they’re trying to do is get to you.

Former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson says he wouldn’t walk off the pitch if he heard racist abuse, as he wouldn’t want to let the abusers win
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“But if my team-mates did, I would support them and we would all walk off together.

“The point is, the players should still be protected. Somebody else should make that decision, because if Raheem can hear it, everyone can hear it.

“But I think it should be someone above, maybe someone from UEFA. If anyone can hear that sort of abuse, they should be the ones to stop the game and usher the lads off the pitch, so that the pressure is not on the players to make that decision.

“You know what it’s like, if they do walk off half the people out there are going to criticise them and the other half will support what they’ve done, so either way they’re not going to really win.

“I just think the pressure should be taken away from them, that if anyone hears it then somebody above can make the call to stop the game and take the heat off the lads a little bit.

“At the end of the day, all they want is to play football and if the lads can hear it, the officials can hear it. It’s as simple as that.”

Listen back to a clip of Glen Johnson on talkSPORT above

UEFA and FIFA told to act to help stop racist abuse at football games – ‘It shouldn’t be down to the players’, says Glen Johnson

12 Sep

Former England international Glen Johnson has urged FIFA and UEFA to act to help stop racist abuse of players at football games.

Speaking on talkSPORT, the ex-Liverpool defender insisted it should not be left to the stars themselves to decide whether to leave the pitch or not if they hear abusive language, and says the authorities should make that decision instead.

Johnson was reacting to the news that Raheem Sterling was the targeted with racist heckles during England’s 4-0 victory over Bulgaria at Wembley Stadium on Saturday.

A fan was kicked out of Wembley on Saturday after a steward heard him directing racial abuse at Raheem Sterling
AFP or licensors

The back pages on Thursday morning were splashed with stories claiming the Three Lions team are set for discussions about walking off the pitch in defiance if they hear any abuse in their return trip to Bulgaria in Euro 2020 qualifying.

The Football Association fear their players could face similar treatment to the abuse they suffered when they faced Montenegro earlier this year, when Sterling, Danny Rose and Callum Hudson-Odoi were the subject of chanting from home fans.

Johnson says he wouldn’t leave the field as he believes that would ‘let the racists win’, although said he would support his other team-mates if they wanted to.

But he believes players shouldn’t even have to make that decision if abuse from the crowd is so obvious.

Speaking to talkSPORT hosts Jim White and Natalie Sawyer, he said: “A fan got chucked out for racially abusing Raheem and I think a few guys are expecting something similar in the next game.

“There’s a lot of talk now about whether the lads are going to walk off the pitch, but to be honest I don’t think the players should have to make that decision.

“I personally wouldn’t want to walk off, because at the end of the day you want to do your job and play the game. By walking off you are kind of letting them win, because all they’re trying to do is get to you.

Former Liverpool defender Glen Johnson says he wouldn’t walk off the pitch if he heard racist abuse, as he wouldn’t want to let the abusers win
Getty

“But if my team-mates did, I would support them and we would all walk off together.

“The point is, the players should still be protected. Somebody else should make that decision, because if Raheem can hear it, everyone can hear it.

“But I think it should be someone above, maybe someone from UEFA. If anyone can hear that sort of abuse, they should be the ones to stop the game and usher the lads off the pitch, so that the pressure is not on the players to make that decision.

“You know what it’s like, if they do walk off half the people out there are going to criticise them and the other half will support what they’ve done, so either way they’re not going to really win.

“I just think the pressure should be taken away from them, that if anyone hears it then somebody above can make the call to stop the game and take the heat off the lads a little bit.

“At the end of the day, all they want is to play football and if the lads can hear it, the officials can hear it. It’s as simple as that.”

Listen back to a clip of Glen Johnson on talkSPORT above

Huddersfield Town charged by Football Association for Paddy Power kit worn in pre-season

9 Aug

Huddersfield’s daring pre-season shirt stunt has seen them handed a misconduct charge by the Football Association.

The Terriers received criticism for sporting a sash-style shirt which bore the logo of bookmaker Paddy Power when they released their home shirt in the middle of July.

Midfielder Jonathan Hogg was one of the players wearing the kit during the match
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They wore the shirt in a friendly against Rochdale on July 17, with the logo appearing to exceed the Football Association’s guidelines of 250 square centimetres.

Town and the bookmaker later admitted to the stunt before bringing out a new, sponsor-free kit for the current season.

Other clubs to have joined forces with Paddy Power and have a sponsor-free kit include Scottish Premiership club Motherwell.

“Huddersfield Town FC has been charged with misconduct in relation to The FA’s Kit and Advertising Regulations,” a statement read.

“It is alleged that playing kit worn by its first team during a pre-season friendly against Rochdale AFC on 17 July 2019 was in breach of FA Regulation C.2(i). The club has until 16 August 2019 to provide a response.”



 

Huddersfield are playing in the Championship this season after being relegated from the Premier League in 2018/19.

Their 2019/20 campaign got off to a losing start after being beaten 2-1 at home to Derby on Monday night.

Huddersfield are actually playing without a sponsor this season
Huddersfield Town

Kick It Out demands ‘strong sanctions and education’ from Football Association in light of racism claims on opening weekend of season

5 Aug

Kick It Out has called on the Football Association and clubs to take action against the ‘disgraceful’ incidents of abuse which marred the opening weekend of the season.

Fulham defender Cyrus Christie alleged his sister was hit and racially abused by a Cottagers fan during their Championship match at Barnsley on Saturday.

Christie alleges his sister was abused during the Barnsley match

The London club are investigating the matter and have vowed to take “the strongest possible action”.

Meawhile, Southend striker Theo Robinson claimed he was a target of racist abuse from a fan sitting near his family and friends at Coventry.

Kick It Out also said James McClean of Stoke and Barnsley’s Bambo Diaby were subjected to abuse.

The anti-discrimination body said: “We are appalled to hear that the sister of Fulham’s Cyrus Christie was subjected to alleged violence and racist abuse on Saturday, with Southend United’s Theo Robinson, Stoke City’s James McClean and Barnsley’s Bambo Diaby targeted with unacceptable discriminatory abuse too.

“On the first weekend of the season, these incidents should be a reminder for everyone in football that racism and discrimination cannot be ignored.

“Clubs and the football authorities must be relentless in calling out this disgraceful behaviour, and be prepared to issue strong sanctions and education sessions to any supporter involved.

“We have contacted the clubs to offer our support to the players, are liaising with the police and have informed the FA of all the incidents, so that whoever is responsible can be brought to justice.

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“Discrimination casts a shadow over football in this country, and we will not stop highlighting the problem while it remains rife in the game.”

The Fulham Supporters’ Trust said it was “shocked” to hear of the alleged abuse directed at Christie’s sister.

It added: “We condemn any such behaviour unequivocally and encourage anyone who witnessed the incident to contact the club or the police with details.

“We would particularly like Cyrus and his family to know that as Fulham fans we won’t tolerate any form of discriminatory behaviour at our club.”


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Football Association to introduce sin bins at grassroots level ahead of 2019/20 campaign

30 Jul

The Football Association is to introduce sin bins at grassroots level from the start of the 2019/20 season.

Ten-minute dismissals will be sanctioned by referees for dissent, while shorter punishments will be handed out in youth football.

Referees will indicate the punishment by giving the offending player a yellow card and pointing to the touchline, to ensure there is no confusion between a sin bin yellow card and a standard issue yellow card.

Yellow cards will be used to send players to the sin bin, though they will not replace standard issue yellow cards
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“Dissent is a key part of the game that needs to be tackled,” said the FA’s chief executive, Mark Bullingham, on the initiative.

“They allow referees to address incidents of dissent quickly and effectively. The trial showed a huge impact on behaviour that we want to roll out to the whole game and make it more enjoyable for everyone.”

The sin bin system has been on trial in 31 leagues over the past two years, with 25 divisions showing a decline in dissent as a result.

Furthermore, according to Sky News, 84 per cent of referees, 77 per cent of managers and coaches, and 72 per cent of players were in favour of sin bins being brought in permanently.

The FA found that there was a 38 per cent total reduction in dissent across all leagues during the trial period.

The punishment is set to be implemented up to step five of the National League System, while it will be used in the third tier and below in women’s football.

Football Association could implement ten-match bans for racism following rise in reported incidents at professional and grassroots level

25 Jul

The Football Association is reportedly considering increasing the minimum sanction for discriminatory behaviour to a ten-match ban.

This comes after figures showed that reported cases in the professional game rose by 46 per cent last season.

Manchester City’s Raheem Sterling was reportedly subjected to racist abuse at Chelsea in December 2018

In an alarming rise that supports anecdotal evidence of a growing issue, as indicated by the racial abuse suffered by Raheem Sterling and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang last season, the reporting of racist incidents increased by 67.3 per cent, from 110 to 184 cases, according to Kick It Out, football’s equality organisation.

The FA have increased the minimum tariff for discrimination from a five to a six-match ban in May.

However, in light of the new figures the organisation wants to raise it again.

In a joint letter to the minister for sport, Mims Davies, the FA, Premier League and EFL have pledged to work together to create more opportunities for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people in football, as well as applying stronger sanctions for those guilty of discriminatory behaviour.

World football’s governing body FIFA doubled its minimum sanction for racist incidents to ten matches last month and the FA will consider following suit.

Aubameyang had a banana thrown at him after scoring a goal against Tottenham last season

“We are determined to help reduce all forms of discrimination at every level of the game, from grass roots to elite,” an FA spokesman said.

“It’s a matter that we take very seriously and we have already started a consultation process with key stakeholders across the game, including the Leagues, the PFA, the LMA, Kick It Out and others, with the aim of reviewing our sanctioning guidelines for proven cases of discrimination.

“This review involves working on a range of projects to combat discrimination, both on and off the pitch. As part of this, we are reviewing what the minimum match-based suspension for proven cases of discrimination should be to ensure the deterrent in place is appropriate and effective.”

The FA has committed to creating new sentencing guidelines for racist incidents by September. The three football bodies have also pledged to review how clubs sanction and educate offenders, to improve the training of stewards, and to introduce new reporting methods to enable fans to make the authorities aware of concerns or incidents of discrimination.

This is the seventh consecutive year in which reported incidents of discrimination in football have increased.

Increasing racism in grounds was repeatedly highlighted last season, particularly by the Tottenham Hotspur fan who was given a four-year ban from football for throwing a banana skin at Arsenal’s Aubameyang at the Emirates Stadium.

The Kick It Out figures also show that reports of discrimination, which have increased by 32 per cent across the sport, have risen in grassroots football by 3.8 per cent. That rise is largely down to an increase in discrimination based on sexual orientation, which is up by a third. Racism, which is up 43 per cent, also appears to be increasing away from the professional game, with 274 of the 422 grassroots incidents reported involving race.

Roisin Wood, the Kick It Out chief executive, attributed some of the problems to the impact of the debate around Brexit. “You can’t not link them together,” she said.

“We’re seeing a lot of reports of, ‘Go back to where you came from,’ which we haven’t seen for a while, which seems to be on the back of Brexit. Football reflects the society it is played and watched in, and these figures are sadly not surprising.”

Everton news: Yerry Mina charged with misconduct in relation to Football Association’s betting regulations

24 Jul

Everton centre-back Yerry Mina has been given a misconduct charge in relation to a breach of the Football Association’s betting regulations.

English football’s governing body says Mina has been charged with breaching FA Rule E8 (3) by “participating in an advertisement for betting activity which is prohibited from engaging in”.

Mina is in trouble for an advert he appeared in his home country of Colombia
getty

It is understood the charge relates to an advert in which Mina – who has until Friday to provide a response – appeared in for Betjuego in his home country of Colombia earlier this year.

Stringent rules are in place with regard to sports betting in order to prevent, among other things, match-fixing and spot-betting.

The relevant section from the 2018-19 FA Handbook states: “An individual participant, when acting in a personal capacity, shall not be permitted to advertise or promote any betting activity that the participant is prohibited from engaging in by Rule E8(1) or E8(2).”

Last week, Daniel Sturridge was fined £75,000 and handed a six-week suspension after being found guilty of breaching different betting rules.

England Under-21s: Aidy Boothroyd aka ‘Hoofroyd’ got the job because he was friends with FA chief Dan Ashworth, claims Danny Murphy

24 Jun

Danny Murphy has suggested Aidy Boothroyd is the wrong man for the England Under-21s job, saying he was only appointed as manager due to his friendship with former FA chief Dan Ashworth.

Boothroyd’s future in charge of the Young Lions is in doubt after his side crashed out of the European U21 Championship after just two games.

England were one of the big favourites to win the tournament, boasting players with Premier League and Championship experience, but they have failed to make it out of their group following error-strewn defeats to France and Romania.

Ashworth, now at Brighton, was director of elite development at the FA when ‘Hoofroyd’ – a nickname he earned for his tactics as Watford boss – was first appointed U21 boss in 2017, after Gareth Southgate was promoted to senior team manager.

The pair have a close relationship which goes back years – first working together at Peterborough 16 years ago and then again at West Brom, where Ashworth was Boothroyd’s assistant in their youth set-up.

Aidy Boothroyd and Dan Ashworth, with England manager Gareth Southgate at the 2018 World Cup in Russia
getty

Ashworth then took his friend’s job at the Hawthorns after Boothroyd left, eventually becoming the club’s technical director in 2007 before moving to the FA five years later.

In 2014, after being sacked by Northampton with the club at the bottom of League Two, Boothroyd followed the mate to the FA when he was appointed England U20s boss.

And Murphy believes the coach’s was not based on merit and that Boothroyd is not the right fit for the U21s job.

The former Liverpool midfielder told talkSPORT host Jim White: “Bothroyd got this job at a time when Northampton were bottom of the league when he left, and then he got into the England U20s, then the 19s and then U21s.

“He is supposed to be a decent guy, and this it’s not a personal thing, but for me his relationship with Dan Ashworth [is why he got the job].

“Did he get the job on merit? No, not really. There’s a bit of nepotism there and we have to be honest with that.

Boothroyd has come under fire for his team selections at the Euro U21 Championship
GETTY

“His nickname when he left Watford was ‘Hoofroyd’ – his football philosophy is not what he’s trying to do with the U21s.

“If you’re trying to convince a group of players to play a certain way, when really you don’t want to play that way because nothing in your history as a manager suggests that’s your natural philosophy – that’s a problem.

“It’s because he’s working for the FA and they’ve told you to play that way.

“It’s not just about the tactics, though, it’s about the mentality of young players who are earning a lot of money and who are superstars and you need somebody in charge who understand that.

England players are crestfallen as they are knocked out of the Euro U21 Championships in Italy
GETTY

“Results aren’t that important with the U21s, either, player development is crucial. Player development and results, yes.

“I’m talking about the biggest picture, not this particular tournament.

“You’re talking about players responding to a coach, looking up to him, being inspired by him and being taught the right things.”

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes fined £8,000 for breaching Football Association betting rules

19 Jun

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has been fined £8,000 by the Football Association for breaching betting regulations over a four-year period.

Scholes placed 140 bets on football matches between August 2015 and January 2019 while he was co-owner and director at Salford City.

Paul Scholes has apologised for his actions
Getty

The former England midfielder, who had a short stint as Oldham boss earlier this year, apologised for his actions on Wednesday.

In a statement, he said: “I accept [the] ruling. I would like to apologise and I understand and fully accept the fine imposed by the FA.

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“It was a genuine mistake and was not done with any deliberate intention to flout the rules.

“I wrongly believed that as long as there was no personal connection between me and any of the matches that I bet upon then there would be no issue.

“However, I understand now that this is not the case and I should have taken steps to verify this at the time.”

Scholes did not place any bets on football games during his 31 days in charge of Oldham.

The 44-year-old resigned from his role amid claims of broken promises from Latics chiefs.