Footballer facing 35-game ban for three incidents including ugly clash with ref
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A non-league footballer has been hit with a mammoth 35-game ban for three Football Association charges against him during the 2020/21 season.
The charges, all of which were found to be proven, relate to defender Michael McGrath of National League North side Kettering Town.
McGrath, 35, denied all three charges but is now facing the prospect of a 35-game suspension and fines totalling £1,550.
The biggest ban given to McGrath dates back to Kettering’s 3-0 FA Trophy defeat to Leamington on January 19 of this year.
According to the Northamptonshire Telegraph, McGrath was involved in a spat with the referee, which resulted in him being sent-off.
The FA Charges for that incident read: “1. It is alleged that in or around the 11th minute of the fixture the participant used abusive and/or insulting words towards the match referee, contrary to Rule E3.1.
“Further, or alternatively, it is alleged that this breach of FA Rule E3.1 is an “aggravated breach” as defined in Rule E3.2, as it included a reference to disability.
“2. It is alleged that following the participant’s dismissal, the participant’s language and/or behaviour towards the match referee was abusive and/or insulting, contrary to Rule E3.1. It is alleged that this breach of FA Rule E3.1 is an “aggravated breach” as defined in Rule E3.2, as it included a reference to sexual orientation.
“3. It is alleged that following the participant’s dismissal, the participant’s language and/or behaviour towards the match referee was threatening.
“4. It is alleged that following the participant’s dismissal from the field of play, the participant’s language and/or behaviour in or around the tunnel area amounts to improper conduct, contrary to Rule E3.1.”
In a written statement on the FA website, it is stated that the charges were denied but the result was proven with McGrath receiving a 21-match ban, £750 fine and required to go on an education course.
The first charge related to an incident following Kettering’s match with Guiseley on November 24.
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It is alleged McGrath “used abusive and/or insulting language towards a match official”. This was deemed to be an “aggravated breach” as the “language included reference to sexual orientation.”
Although the charge was denied, the result was once again proven with McGrath handed a 10-match suspension, £600 fine and ordered to complete an FA face-to-face training course.
The third charge concerned a 3-3 draw at Hereford, also in November, during which the defender was sent off for two bookable offences.
For this, and “the participant’s behaviour in/around the dugout”, McGrath received a further four-match ban, bringing his suspension to 35-games in total.
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