Charge football stars, says judge

Click to follow
A JUDGE said yesterday that professional footballers should be prosecuted for assaulting opponents and brought to court to set an example.

Judge Richard Benson made the comments after hearing the case at Nottingham Crown Court of a 49-year-old amateur footballer who headbutted an opposing player during a match.

Judge Benson said: "I am unable to recall in this country a single footballer in the Premier League or lower who has been prosecuted for this. Sometimes the Scots get it right. Duncan Ferguson, who assaulted a player, was sent away for six months and quite right too. If something like that did happen, it would surely filter down through our game."

The judge earlier mentioned a number of other cases: "Paolo di Canio pushed over a referee. That is common assault in anyone's book. Why on earth he was not brought up on these charges I do not know.

"And there was the match between Arsenal and South-ampton where the TV camera caught a Southampton player having his jaw broken. The offending player ended up being banned from the game for nine matches. The report and TV evidence would have been enough to have had a high- profile player made an example of in the courts."

Donald Annable, 49, of Headland Avenue, Elkesley, Nottinghamshire, admitted causing actual bodily harm to Malcolm Duncan while playing for Clumber Inn against Epworth over 30s on 29 August last year.

He was given two years' probation and ordered to pay his victim pounds 300 compensation.