Ex-Newcastle youth coach Beardsley banned for eight months over racism

Former Newcastle United forward Peter Beardsley has been banned from football until April 2020.

Former Newcastle United youth coach Peter Beardsley.   -  Getty Images

Peter Beardsley has been suspended from football for eight months after being found to have used racist and abusive language while in his role as Newcastle United's Under-23s coach.

An independent commission imposed a 32-week ban on the ex-England international and ordered him to undergo an education course after the Football Association (FA) charged him with three breaches of FA Rule E3 in March.

Beardsley, who denied each of the charges, left his post at Newcastle that month, having been placed on gardening leave in January 2018.

"The FA alleged that Mr Beardsley used abusive and/or insulting words, which were contrary to FA Rule E3(1) and constituted an 'Aggravated Breach' under FA Rule E3(2) due to reference of ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality, while employed as a coach of the club's Under-23s team," read an FA statement.

"All three breaches of FA Rule E3 were denied but subsequently found proven based upon the results and findings of Newcastle United FC's disciplinary proceedings.

"Mr Beardsley has also been ordered to complete a face-to-face education course."

The 58-year-old, who played for Newcastle, will be required to refrain from all football-related activity until April 29, 2020.

In a statement released via his legal representatives, Beardsley was said to be "very surprised and disappointed" by the outcome.

It read: "It was almost impossible for Peter to clear his name because of the serious flaws and contamination of evidence that occurred in the disciplinary process before Newcastle United and by the unusual fact that the FA rules put the burden of proof on him to prove his innocence in the proceedings.

"After a long process which has been unnecessarily protracted, Peter feels vindicated that the commission has expressly found that he is not a racist.

"Peter and his legal advisers have been inundated with support from all over the country, both from fellow professionals of the highest repute including John Barnes, Kevin Keegan, Les Ferdinand and Andrew Cole, as well as other football professionals including managers, coaches, players, and football fans, all of which provided unchallenged evidence to the commission as to Peter's good character, the fact that he is not a racist and whatever was said, there was no intent to cause offence."

The statement added Beardsley acknowledges the commission's verdict and intends to resume his career in football upon the completion of the suspension.

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