Manchester

Wythenshawe Town manager suspended over 'racism' walk-off

Wythenshawe Town FC Image copyright Wythenshawe Town FC
Image caption Wythenshawe Town manager James Kinsey abandoned the game after comments made to a player

A football manager has been fined and suspended after taking his players off the pitch in protest at an alleged racist comment from a linesman.

Non-league Wythenshawe Town manager James Kinsey abandoned the game after comments made to a player in January.

The official was also sanctioned after the charge against him was proven, the Manchester FA said.

Anti-discrimination campaign Kick It Out said some clubs are "facing fines for standing up to racist abuse".

Mr Kinsey was handed a fine and banned for seven days, meaning he will miss the club's next match.

Image caption Chris Eaton said the decision to suspend and fine Mr Kinsey was "appalling"

Wythenshawe chairman Chris Eaton said the decision to sanction him was "appalling".

"We don't think he [Mr Kinsey] did anything wrong... so why should we suffer?"

An Independent Regulatory Commission delivered its verdict on Tuesday that the charge against the assistant referee of "'aggravated' breach of FA Rule E3" was proven.

The FA rulebook states that sanctions for such an offence when committed for the first time should be "an immediate suspension of at least five matches".

The Commission said Mr Kinsey "accepted his charge" of bringing the game into disrepute by taking his players off.

The assistant referee's "indefensible" comments were directed at one of the club's black players during a match against rivals Rylands in the Hallmark Security League on 26 January, Mr Eaton said earlier.

The alleged abuse was heard by four players in the dugout as well as Mr Kinsey, prompting him to abandon the game.

'Wrong signal'

Kick It Out, football's anti-discrimination campaign, said it was "extremely concerned" at reports that some grassroots clubs "have been facing fines for standing up to racist abuse received by their players."

"Football is sending out the wrong signal when bigger fines are given to the victims of abuse rather than the alleged perpetrators", it said in a statement.

The Manchester FA said it "strongly condemns discrimination of any kind".

Both sides have seven days to appeal.

The FA said it would not release details of the sanctions until after this period but "written reasons" in relation to the case will be published "in due course".

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