Football: Jones misses date with FA

VINNIE JONES, whose visits to the Football Association's disciplinary committee are so frequent there is talk of building him a flat on the premises, failed to turn up at the appointed time for a hearing yesterday and landed an indefinite ban.

The Wimbledon warhorse, fined a record pounds 20,000 four months ago for his contribution to the video Soccer's Hard Men, was due at Lancaster Gate at 12.30 to learn his punishment for accumulating 41 disciplinary points. When an hour passed and Jones did not show, the Dons' chief executive, Dave Barnard, tried in vain to locate him.

The word from the training ground was that Jones had been given the morning off to hear his fate. His housekeeper said he had set out at 9am. 'It's not like Vinnie,' a baffled Barnard said. 'He certainly knows his way here.'

In Jones's absence, the FA implemented the rule which states that a player must attend to hear the charge, and suspended him, starting with Saturday's game against Oldham, until a hearing takes place.

With the fine timimg that is the trademark of his tackling, Jones eventually arrived 90 minutes late. Eric Dinnie, head of the committee, said there had been a genuine misunderstanding. 'Vinnie thought the hearing was at 2.30 and was in plenty of time for that.' As for where Jones had been between leaving home and reaching the FA, Barnard said: 'I can only assume he had some sort of mental block.' The next instalment of When Vinnie Met Dinnie is now expected to come next week.

Jason Lee, of Lincoln, and Darren Carr, of Crewe, may escape the FA's wrath despite a series of clashes in Saturday's Third Division game. Carr, who apparently received a facial injury after an altercation with Lee, seemed to strike the Lincoln forward after the final whistle. Lee then allegedly felled the Crewe defender, who was going to the treatment room. The referee apparently did not see the incidents, but both clubs pledged yesterday to hold internal inquiries.

Brady building bridges, page 32

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