Footbal: Bosnich hopes for lenient treatment

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The Independent Online
Mark Bosnich will be hoping that a Football Association disciplinary commission view his Hitler-style salute in the spirit he says it was intended. The Aston Villa goalkeeper will appear before the three-man commission tomorrow morning at Lancaster Gate charged with misconduct for his gesture towards Tottenham fans in the second half of the game at White Hart Lane last month.

The FA could accept Bosnich's explanation that his salute, which upset Tottenham supporters many of whom are Jewish, was just a silly misguided prank and give the Australian a gentle rap over the knuckles and a "don't do it again" warning. Alternatively, the commission may feel that they need to make an example of a situation which in terms of the worst scenario could have provoked crowd trouble and hand out a heavy fine or even suspension.

In the meantime, whatever the outcome of the hearing, Bosnich must wait to see if the police, who received complaints from Tottenham fans over the incident, are to take action after a report was submitted last week to the Crown Prosecution Service. A police spokesperson did admit that it could be several weeks before it is known whether the Crown Prosecution Service will decide to press charges.

Portsmouth's manager, Terry Fenwick, was yesterday fined pounds 500 by the FA after admitting his part in a verbal attack on the referee Martin Bodenham. Fenwick spoke to the Cornwall-based Bodenham in the Fratton Park tunnel after his team drew 1-1 with Wimbledon to go out of the Coca-Cola Cup in September. Fenwick offered a plea in mitigation, but in addition to the fine was warned about his future conduct.

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