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Non-League Manager 'Gutted' After Being Banned And Fined For Taking A Stance Against Racism

Josh Lawless

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Non-League Manager 'Gutted' After Being Banned And Fined For Taking A Stance Against Racism

Wythenshawe Town manager James Kinsey has been left "gutted" after being fined and banned for taking his team off the team following a racial slur from a linesman.

On 26 January, in a Hallmark Security League First Division South game against Rylands FC, Mr Kinsey went onto the pitch to complain to the referee after he and members of the Town dugout heard a racial slur from an assistant referee.

The referee then asked if he wanted to take the players off the pitch and James decided to do so, leading to the abandonment of the game and the points subsequently being awarded to the opposition side.

But despite making a stance against racial abuse, which the linesman in question was found guilty of, the 26-year old has been suspended for seven days and therefore unable to manage his side during their upcoming game this weekend.

The rulebook states that "an immediate suspension of at least five matches" should be imposed on the linesman for the "aggravated' breach of FA Rule E3" but Wythenshawe chairman Chris Eaton told SPORTbible that he has seen footage of the same official running the line for a fixture in the same league.

Having grown tired of constantly chasing the FA for some 11 weeks now, he added that no appeal will be issued because the club don't feel there is any point dragging it on any longer.

"With such a serious allegation, surely they would suspend him [the linesman] until the outcome - it would happen in any walk of life I believe," Mr Eaton said.

"James admitted to the rule breach because the rules say that only the officials can take the player off the pitch from the field of play in the event of an abandonment.

"We're not bothering [appealing the ban] because you have to pay a £50 fee to be heard, it'll take forever because they just don't move quickly on these things. It's not worth it."

Former footballer and pundit Garth Crooks, who also works for anti-discrimination charity Kick It Out, will pay the fine out of principle but Mr Eaton is appalled at the manner in which the club have been treated.

"What else can we do, do we just have to put up with it? I've actually been quoted as saying it's bullying, we've been bullied by the FA. We're supposed to work together for the greater good, but the way they have ruled in such a way is outrageous.

"He [Mr Kinsey] is gutted. He's a lad in his twenties with a young family, he works very hard for the job he does, he's a volunteer - I'm a volunteer as chairman of the club - we're all doing this for love and yet the officials are being paid. There's something not quite right there.

"We're sixth in the league and if we finish in the top four, we can go into the FA Cup next season and we've only got three games left. He's going to miss one of our last three games at such an important stage and I just think it's so wrong."

Another similar high-profile incident saw North West Counties League outfit Padiham FC fined for leaving the pitch as a protest against racial abuse aimed at goalkeeper Tony Aghayere by members of the Congleton Town fanbase back in October.

Both clubs were charged under FA rule E20 but Padiham were actually fined £5 more than Congleton, whose supporters were responsible for the racism.

Mr Eaton put the state of affairs down to "a lack of experience" and doesn't think the organisation are "streetwise" enough.

"I don't think they've known what to do about this situation because I think it's set a precedent. I've never heard of an official using racist slurs before, you've heard it from supporters and even players but not from an official. I don't think they've known what to do.

"Padiham and us have both been fined now for doing what everybody, to a man and woman have said to me was the right thing to do. The support we've had has been phenomenal from every sector so that tells me we haven't done anything wrong."

The Manchester FA issued the following statement on their website: "Following a match between Wythenshawe Town and Rylands on 26th January 2019, which resulted in an abandonment, an alleged incident was reported to Manchester FA.

"After a full investigation, an assistant referee was charged with an 'aggravated' breach of FA Rule E3 and Wythenshawe Town's manager was charged with a breach of FA Rule E3.

"An Independent Regulatory Commission today found the charge involving the assistant referee proven and the Wythenshawe Town manager accepted his charge.

"All charges are subject to a 7-day appeal period and the written reasons in relation to this case will be published by The Football Association in due course.

"Manchester FA takes all allegations of this nature very seriously and strongly condemns discrimination of any kind."

The FA declined to comment on the matter.

Topics: Football News, Racism, Football, Non-League, FA

Josh Lawless
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