Football: Bateson continues pursuit of Kelly

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The Independent Online
MIKE BATESON, the Torquay United chairman, is threatening to call in Fifa, the game's global governing body, after yesterday's Football Association council meeting refused to sanction a no- confidence vote in its chief executive, Graham Kelly.

Bateson is still angry over Kelly's court evidence that helped clear Brentford's Gary Blissett of causing grevious bodily harm to John Uzzell, of Torquay. Kelly said the aerial action which caused the damage during a game 13 months ago was the type of incident that could be seen in most matches.

Bateson has already been told by the FA chairman, Sir Bert Millichip, that no action will be taken against Kelly, but refuses to accept it. 'It must be challenged,' Bateson said yesterday. 'If I get no satisfaction then I'll go to Fifa and complain that the FA is not acting within the terms of its own Articles of Association.'

David Henson, Devon's representative on the Council, had planned to raise the issue yesterday, but was told it could not be discussed because of the likelihood of further court action.

Uzzell, whose jaw was smashed, is considering a civil action against Blissett, but Bateson said: 'What happened today was a cop-out. Graham Kelly must have miners in the family because the hole he is digging is getting deeper by the day] I'll keep snapping at their heels. I want Kelly brought up on a charge of disrepute - and if they find him not guilty then I'll stand by that decision.'

Henson added: 'I'm determined that something will be done in the end because I feel Graham's words in court did immeasurable harm to the FA. If Graham says he goes to four matches a week and sees this type of challenge every time, then that is 200 per season which is quite ridiculous. I feel just as strongly about this as Mike Bateson does and you can be assured we won't let this rest.'

Newcastle United are giving a week's trial to Nikos Papavassiliou, a 22-year-old Cypriot international striker who plays for the Greek First Division side OFI of Iraklion. He was recommended by the Wales manager, Terry Yorath, against whose side he played in a World Cup qualifier last year.