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Dorset County Football Association - Statement

Bridport Reserves v Gillingham Town Reserves. Dorset Senior Trophy – Saturday 9 October 2021

Bridport Reserves v Gillingham Town Reserves

Dorset Senior Trophy – Saturday 9 October 2021

 

A Disciplinary Commission of The FA have now considered the charges that were raised in respect of the above match.

The alleged incidents during the fixture on 9 October were reported to The FA on 11 October 2021 and the DCFA were required to charge both clubs. Bridport were charged under FA Rule E20 – Failure to conduct themselves in an orderly fashion which included allegations that the language and/or behaviour related to a person’s race. Gillingham Town were also charged under FA Rule E20 in respect of the behaviour of its Players, Spectators and/or Club Officials in the above fixture. It was alleged that during the fixture Gillingham Town players removed themselves from the field of play and were not willing to continue with the match.

It is important that any decision to abandon a game, for any reason, is made by the match referee in consultation with both team managers and the team captains. If a team make the decision themselves to end a game by refusing to continue that is a breach of the Laws of the Game and will result in a charge against the club. The Club will have the opportunity to have a disciplinary hearing in which an independent commission will seek to understand the decision made. That commission will then consider the circumstances along with any aggravating or mitigating factors before deciding on what, if any sanction, is required.

There is no place in our game for discriminatory abuse and obviously we do not want clubs to feel they are being punished if they refuse to play on because of abuse received. For this reason, clubs should work with the referee if they feel they are unable to continue with a game in order not to commit a breach of the Laws of the Game. The FA will always take the strongest possible action against those proven to be discriminatory within a football setting and continues to do its utmost to challenge these behaviours within our game.

The sanctions imposed by the FA Independent Disciplinary Commission are:

Bridport – the charges against Bridport are found proven by admission and the Club shall receive a fine of £200. Bridport shall be warned as to its future conduct and receive 6 club penalty points.

Gillingham – the charges against Gillingham are found not proven and are dismissed.

The FA have confirmed that the DCFA followed the advice given to them by the governing body and followed the correct procedures throughout the process.

Sue Hough MBE, Chief Executive.