FA commission says Sophie Jones 'lied to conceal wrongdoing'

Sophie Jones
Sophie Jones said she was "unable to continue in football" in March

Ex-Sheffield United forward Sophie Jones lied to "conceal wrongdoing" over allegations of racist abuse, an FA regulatory commission has ruled.

Jones was banned for five games after being found guilty of racially abusing Tottenham player Renee Hector during a Championship match in January.

United terminated Jones' deal in March and she suggested she was retiring.

The 27-year-old maintained her innocence and said the "hearing took place in a kangaroo court".

But the Football Association has now published the written reasons for the guilty finding.

Jones denied the allegations that she made monkey noises towards Hector, who is of mixed race, as the pair contested a corner.

Witnesses claimed Jones said she had a cough when the allegations were first made on the field, but she denied this during her evidence to an independent regulatory commission.

She also said she was unaware of allegations of racism until Hector tweeted after the game, but the commission did not believe her version of events.

It also rejected her denial that she had smiled at Hector and said "better luck next time" when the Spurs player failed to connect with the corner.

The report read: "The commission concluded that SJ's [Jones'] denial that she had made that remark or indeed spoke to anyone at the time was supportive of the case against her because there was no reason to deny it other than to conceal wrongdoing."

The commission also believed evidence from witnesses that Jones had claimed on the field to have a cough, despite Jones denying it.

The report read: "Since SJ's evidence was that she did not recollect having a cough, and had indeed denied having a cough in her FA interview, it was clear that SJ was lying about having a cough when she said it on the pitch.

"The commission concluded that the only reason to lie at that point was to conceal the fact that she, SJ, was responsible for the noise."