Football: Taylor praises FA's justice

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The Independent Online
GORDON TAYLOR, the Professional Footballers' Association's chief executive, has defended the Football Association's system for dispensing justice in the light of the Stamford Bridge incident involving Graeme Le Saux and Robbie Fowler, his England team-mate.

The two players have been charged with misconduct by the FA on the strength of video evidence, and given 14 days in which to respond. Taylor believes the cooling-off period is the right way to go about dealing with the matter, rather than making an instant judgement.

Taylor, who yesterday said he was sympathetic towards Le Saux over the incident, in which Fowler was knocked to the ground after earlier appearing to make offensive gestures towards the Chelsea defender, believes patience is the key to proper justice. He said: "I don't want us to administer football on the hoof. You can act in haste and repent at leisure."

He added: "I've had a word with Graeme Le Saux in the past about how quickly he has reacted at times with his temper, but I think on this occasion he deserves some sympathy."

Taylor explained he had seen the television footage and said: "It seems to be quite clear he had been provoked by gestures, and in the past he's had chants from supporters to put up with on a level on the pitch beyond which he should not have to take. If we can't stop it from supporters we should be able to stop it from players because clearly it presents a chance of damaging and ruining Le Saux's career."

Southampton are to launch an appeal after the Department for Education and Employment blocked the pounds 1m signing of Marian Pahars. The 22-year-old Skonto Riga forward, who has 30 caps for Latvia, has failed to be granted a British work permit.

West Ham's Cameroon midfielder, Marc-Vivien Foe, said yesterday he would not play for the national team again until he received compensation for the injured knee that cost him a place in the World Cup finals. "I love Cameroon. I've had problems because I was serving my country, but in return I have received no sign of gratitude. I've been abandoned," the West Ham player said.

Foe suffered a double fracture of the knee and was out of action for seven months. Manchester City's bid to sign Stan Lazaridis from West Ham is on hold after the winger asked for time to think the move over.

Richard Williams on Le Saux and Fowler,

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