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Sheffield United terminate striker's contract after she's banned for racial abuse

The club acted swiftly following the outcome of the FA’s disciplinary hearing.

Sheffield United striker Sophie Jones (file pic).
Sheffield United striker Sophie Jones (file pic).

SHEFFIELD UNITED WOMEN have terminated the contract of striker Sophie Jones after she was found guilty of racial abuse by the English Football Association (FA).

Jones, 27, was handed a five-match suspension by the FA, fined £200 and ordered to attend an education course, following an incident in early January.

Tottenham Hotspur defender Renée Hector claimed she was subjected to “monkey noises” by an opposing unnamed Sheffield United player during their FA Women’s Championship — the second tier below the Women’s Super League (WSL) — clash.

Liverpool native Jones was charged in February and while she denied the charge, the FA released a statement this afternoon outlining the outcome of the disciplinary hearing.

It reads: “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 06 January 2019.

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

United Kingdom: Crystal Palace FC v Tottenham Hotspur - Women's Super League Two Rennée Hector. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Sheffield United responded swiftly to the verdict of the lengthy investigation, condemning Jones’ behaviour and confirming that her contract will be terminated.

“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,” they wrote in a statement.

“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.”

Spurs star Hector says that she welcomes the FA’s decision and has thanked everyone who supported her through the process.

“There is no place for racism in our game,” she wrote in a statement on Twitter.

renee Source: Renée Hector Twitter.

“A zero tolerance policy is imperative in stamping this out from football therefore I welcome this verdict. No one should be subjected to racist abuse on or off the pitch and I felt a responsibility to call it out for what it was. 

“I want to now concentrate on the last five games of the FAWC and trying to secure promotion with Spurs. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this process.”

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies also stated that they welcomed the FA’s decision.

spurs Source: Tottenham Hotspur Ladies.

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Emma Duffy

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