Sheffield United Women terminate Jones’ contract after racist incident against Spurs

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies have a group huddle before a game (pic: Wu's Photography).

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies have a group huddle before a game (pic: Wu's Photography). - Credit: Archant

The Football Association this afternoon handed the Blades player a five-match suspension and a fine of £200

Sophie Jones was today handed a five-match ban after an aggravated breach of FA Rule E3 (1) during a match between Sheffield United Women and Tottenham Hotspur Ladies was found proven by an Independent Regulatory Commission.

Enquires took place after Spurs Ladies’ 2-1 win away to the Blades in the FA Women’s Championship on January 6 2019.

After the game, Spurs defender Renee Hector said: “Such a shame that racism seems to be rising up again in football - I received some monkey noises today from an opposition player.

“The only reaction was to let the football do the talking and that we did. A great start to the year.”

Following an enquiry, Jones was charged by the Football Association with a breach of FA Rule E3 (1) on February 7.

Earlier this afternoon the governing body confirmed the latest, a spokesperson for the FA said: “Sophie Jones has been given a five-match suspension with immediate effect after an ‘Aggravated Breach’ of FA Rule E3(1) was found proven by an Independent Regulatory Commission.

“The Sheffield United FC Women’s player denied a charge of using abusive and/or insulting words – that included reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race – towards an opponent during an FA Women’s Championship fixture against Tottenham Hotspur Ladies on January 6 2019.

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“The forward was also fined £200 and ordered to attend an FA education course.”

Spurs Ladies reacted to the news with a statement of their own, it read: “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.”

Jones’ club at the time of the incident, Sheffield United, took their own action and after dialogue with the player, decided to terminate her contract.

A statement from the club read: “Sheffield United FC has formally been made aware of the outcome of a Football Association disciplinary hearing involving one of the club’s women’s team.

“A personal hearing was requested by Sophie Jones, who was charged with a breach of Rule E3[1] and Rule E3[2], following an alleged incident in the fixture against Tottenham Hotspur Ladies on Sunday January 6 2019.

“The hearing took place on Tuesday March 19 2019. Jones has been found guilty of the charge and as a result has received the sanctions of a five match suspension, a fine of £200 and asked to attend an FA Inclusion and Diversity Workshop.

“Jones maintains her innocence and is disappointed with the FA’s decision. The club works closely with the EFL, the FA and Kick it Out and would like to reiterate that it does not condone racism or any form of discrimination.

“Following dialogue between the club and Jones, and taking into account the length of the suspension, it has been decided that her contract, which was due for review in the summer, will be terminated by mutual agreement.

“Sheffield United will not comment further on this matter.”