Blues vow to fight FA charge

11 September 2008 08:10
Chelsea have vowed to contest Football Association charges relating to a groundsman's alleged altercation with Manchester United defender Patrice Evra last season. Blues employee Sam Bethell was charged with improper conduct and using abusive language aggravated by reference to nationality/race in relation to an incident after United had won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge on April 26. However, those charged were dropped at a preliminary hearing on Monday after an independent commission ruled the FA did not have disciplinary jurisdiction over him because Chelsea had failed to inform their employee that he was subject to the association's rules and regulations. The FA have subsequently charged the club with 'failing to include the required provisions in his employment contract', but Chelsea have vowed to contest the charge. "We are surprised and extremely disappointed that the decision to charge the club has been taken nearly five months after the incident," read a club statement. "The charges will be contested as we understand that no racist language was used and that Sam Bethell was doing no more than trying to defend himself. "Chelsea is deeply committed to stamping out racist behaviour and would never condone it." Evra has already been charged with improper conduct for the incident. The United defender has denied the charge and requested a personal hearing, which is scheduled for October 2.

Source: ESA