March 21 – An English women’s footballer has decided to retire after being banned for five games for racial abuse.
The English FA launched an investigation into Sophie Jones of Sheffield United after Tottenham Hotspur’s Renee Hector wrote on Twitter that she had been subjected to “monkey noises”.
Jones’ contract with her club was terminated even though she claimed a hearing into the allegations “took place in a kangaroo court”.
“It is with a heavy heart that I feel I am unable to continue within football and play under an organisation that I do not have any confidence in,” Jones said in a statement.
“I would like to state on record that I do not condone racism in any form and I will continue to stand by this statement. I strongly stand firm that I am not guilty with regards to the charge that the FA have brought against me.”
“I am struggling to come to terms with this decision and how the FA can come to a verdict based on probability from the two witness accounts verbally given, instead of reviewing the case and its evidence, in its entirety.”
Tottenham Hotspur Ladies said in a statement: “We welcome the decision made by the FA and that the appropriate action has been taken. There is no place for any sort of discriminatory language or behaviour in football.”
Anti-discrimination group Kick It Out welcomed the decision.
“Verdicts like this underline the importance of calling out discrimination wherever it is heard – in the women’s or men’s game and at any level,” Kick It Out said in a statement.
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