Football: Lenient FA let Ince off hook

PAUL INCE escaped a Football Association censure yesterday for the verbal attack he launched against the Liverpool manager, Gerard Houllier, after his transfer to Middlesbrough before the start of the season.

Ince was highly critical of Houllier and his assistant manager Phil Thompson in a tabloid newspaper following his pounds 1m move to the Riverside Stadium, after it became clear that he had no future at Anfield.

After a meeting with the Football Association's compliance officer Graham Bean, the decision was made not to take any action against the 31-year- old Middlesbrough midfielder.

Adrian Bevington, an FA spokesman, said: "There was contact from the FA to Paul following the newspaper article where we asked for Paul to give us his observations and reasoning behind the article. Paul responded very professionally and promptly and a meeting was arranged with Graham Bean.

"Graham was up in the north-east on Friday afternoon and they managed to find time for a meeting after training. After the discussion a decision was taken not to charge Paul."

It is understood that while it was decided there were no grounds for a disrepute charge, Ince was reminded of his responsibilities in dealing with the media.

The move not to charge the midfielder was welcomed by Boro's assistant manager Viv Anderson, who said: "It was a personal view Paul Ince gave and I'm glad they've seen sense. Paul Ince is a Middlesbrough player now and what he did at Liverpool is gone. We just want him to perform like he did in the second half for us on Saturday between now and the end of the season and, hopefully, we can get up that league."

News of the FA's decision came as a boost to Ince and his club as they prepared for tonight's visit of Leicester and the prospect of topping the Premiership table for at least 24 hours if they win. The player himself had a chance to persuade Kevin Keegan that he is the man to add steel to England's midfield for the culmination of the European Championship qualifying campaign as he guided his side to their 1-0 victory over Liverpool on Saturday. But Ince admits that an international recall is not at the forefront of his mind.

"England is not my main interest, giving 110 per cent for Middlesbrough is," he said. "If I get back into the England squad then fair enough, but I still have a way to go to get match fit for Boro. There was so much hype before the Liverpool game surrounding me and Gazza that we were well pumped up for it, but we proved as a team that we are able to compete."

Paul Gascoigne is likely to miss out tonight because of the calf injury which saw him limp off just 16 minutes into Saturday's game and end his dreams of a place in the England squad due to be announced on Thursday. "I'm gutted for Gazza. I know how much it means for him to play for England and I know what it means for him to play for Middlesbrough," said Ince.

Gascoigne could return for the trip to Aston Villa at the weekend but Middlesbrough's manager Bryan Robson will also be able to call on Robbie Mustoe to take over in midfield if he fails to recover. Three successive victories since the shock opening-day defeat by Bradford City have seen the Teessiders climb to third in the table. But Anderson is adamant they are taking nothing for granted for the visit of Martin O'Neill's side.

"Leicester City is going to be a very, very hard game. Any team that Martin O'Neill puts out is going to be extremely tough," he said. "Last season they had four or five key players missing when we played them, the likes of Emile Heskey, Muzzy Izzet and Neil Lennon, and they still managed to get a draw up here. We did well on Saturday but Saturday's gone now. We've got to earn the right to play just as we did second half against Liverpool."

West Ham's Euro quest, page 20

Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
News
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
news
Sport
Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas
footballChelsea vs West Ham live kicks off coverage of all 10 of Boxing Day matches
News
peopleIt seems you can't silence Katie Hopkins, even on Christmas Day...
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
Wolf (Nathan McMullen), Ian (Dan Starky), The Doctor (Peter Capaldi), Clara (Jenna Coleman), Santa Claus (Nick Frost) in the Doctor Who Christmas Special (BBC/Photographer: David Venni)
tvOur review of the Doctor Who Christmas Special
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executive- City of London, Old Street

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior Marketing Executiv...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager

£40000 - £43000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: An international organisa...

Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwickshire

£25000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Internal Recruiter -Rugby, Warwicksh...

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketing Controller (Financial Services)

£70000 - £75000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager/Marketi...

Day In a Page

A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

Christmas without hope

Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

The 'Black Museum'

After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

Chilly Christmas

Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all