Sheffield United face six FA charges after chaotic match

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The Independent Football

Sheffield United have been cleared of attempting to force their match against West Bromwich at Bramall Lane on 16 March to be called off prematurely, but the club still face six charges.

The match ended controversially as the home side were reduced to eight men after goalkeeper Simon Tracey, plus midfielder Georges Santos and striker Patrick Suffo were dismissed. After Rob Ullathorne and Michael Brown then left the pitch through injury, referee Eddie Wolstenholme had no option other than to end the match with eight minutes remaining. West Brom were leading 3-0, but they were subsequently awarded all three points by the Football League.

United's manager Neil Warnock has been charged with improper conduct relating to the game, but the FA cleared the First Division club of attempting to force the match to be called off prematurely and in a statement said: "No independent evidence was forthcoming to indicate that there was a deliberate attempt by any Sheffield United player or official to force the match to be abandoned."

The club has been charged with failing to ensure that their players conducted themselves in an orderly fashion in relation to incidents where up to five players harassed Wolstenholme in an apparent attempt to influence his decisions.

Keith Curle has been cited for using insulting and abusive words to a match official and Suffo is charged with violent conduct. Santos faces two charges, while he is also accused of using threatening behaviour in the tunnel after his dismissal.

The charge is Warnock's second in 24 hours. He was charged on Thursday over an alleged half-time incident during the game against Barnsley the week before the West Brom match.

Gary Kelly has explained his decision to donate the funds from his forthcoming testimonial to two cancer charities.

"I think everyone knows I lost my sister to cancer so it's a nice tribute [to her]," the Leeds United defender said. "I think everyone knows someone, either in their family, friends, or friends of friends, that has this horrible disease we can't get rid of. It would be nice if we could find a cure for it, so I'm looking to make a good night of it and the proceeds will help along the way."

Kelly, a Leeds player for 10 years, is having his testimonial against Celtic at Elland Road on 7 May. The proceeds, perhaps £50,000, will go to the Drogheda Cancer Support Centre in the Republic of Ireland and Teenage Cancer Support in Leeds.

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