PFA chief defends inclusion of Ched Evans in League One Team of the Year

 

Players' chief Gordon Taylor has defended the decision to include Ched Evans in the PFA League One team of the season despite his conviction for rape, saying it was a "football decision not a moral decision".

The Sheffield United striker was jailed for five years on Friday for the rape of a 19-year-old girl but he was still included in the PFA team as members had already cast their votes.

Taylor, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association, told Press Association Sport: "That was a football judgement by his fellow professionals, it was not a moral judgement and in no way does the PFA condone the offence for which he was convicted.

"If he had been removed from the team it would have created more of a storm and would have been manipulating the vote.

"Votes are cast on footballing ability, obviously everyone is quite disturbed about the conviction and whether that would have changed the vote we just don't know."

PFA chairman Clarke Carlisle, added in response to criticism of the decision on Twitter: "It was a democratic vote on professional ability, not a moral decision.

"We at the PFA must address this. I'll ensure [fans'] opinions are heard."

Wales striker Evans, who hit 35 goals in 42 appearances in all competitions for the Blades, has indicated that he wants to appeal against the conviction.

Sheffield United have launched an internal inquiry into comments made on Twitter by reserve-team player Connor Brown following Evans' prison sentence last week after being found guilty of rape.

Brown, 19, responded to the news of Evans' five-year prison sentence by tweeting his support for his team-mate.

A statement released on the club's official website read: "Sheffield United confirmed today that an internal investigation is under way into social media comments made by reserve-team player Connor Brown following the verdict in the Ched Evans trial.

"The club is aware of a very serious matter regarding comments made through the Twitter account of one of its players. As a result we have launched an inquiry."

Evans was jailed at Caernarfon Crown Court on Friday after being found guilty of raping the woman who was "too drunk to consent".

A spokeswoman for North Wales Police said: "We are aware of some comments made on social media sites and we are collating all relevant information."

Evans admitted having sex with the victim, then aged 19, at a hotel in north Wales last May.

In her evidence, the woman said she has no memory of the incident and the prosecution argued she was too drunk to consent to sexual intercourse.

Evans' co-accused, Port Vale defender Clayton McDonald, 23, who also admitted having sex with the victim, was found not guilty of the same charge.

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
A still from the Jurassic World trailer
film

Video: The official full-length trailer for the Jurassic Park sequel has dropped – two days early

Environment
The plant ‘Nepenthes zygon’ was donated to Kew in 2004
environment
Arts and Entertainment
booksPhotographer snapped celebrities for 40 years - but it wasn’t all fun and games
News
i100
Sport
Aguero - who single-handedly has kept City's Champions League dreams alive - celebrates his dramatic late winner
footballManchester City 3 Bayern Munich 2: Argentine's late hat-rick sees home side snatch vital victory
News
peopleSinger tells The Independent what life is like in rehab in an exclusive video interview
News
Muhammad Ali pictured in better health in 2006
peopleBut he has enjoyed publicity from his alleged near-death experience
Arts and Entertainment
Tony breaks into Ian Garrett's yacht and makes a shocking discovery
TVReview: Revelations continue to make this drama a tough watch
News
news
News
The assumption that women are not as competent in leadership positions as men are leads to increased stress in the workplace
science... and it's down to gender stereotypes
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital