Bates attacks FA over Cole's tribunal delay

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Ken Bates, the Chelsea chairman, believes the Football Association staff involved in the drawn-out Joe Cole disciplinary case should be suspended without pay or sacked.

Cole was suspended for two games on Tuesday for improper conduct relating to an incident in a match between his former club, West Ham, and Bolton last April.

Bates is furious that the case took 227 days from start to finish, with Cole's new club the ones to miss out on the player's services at the end of the month. "I can't comment on the severity of the punishment because I don't know the crime," he said. "What I will say is that those responsible for keeping him waiting seven months should be suspended for three months and have their wages withdrawn. Either that or they should be sacked."

The FA said it was not possible to hold Cole's tribunal hearing any earlier because of the player's club and international commitments, and they were also waiting for Greater Manchester Police to conclude their enquiries into the matter. Chelsea are expected to announce today whether or not they plan to appeal.

Besiktas will play their Champions' League game against Claudio Ranieri's side in Germany next week after losing an appeal yesterday to have the match played in Turkey.

Uefa, the European governing body, decided to stage the Group G tie in Gelsenkirchen next Tuesday, and the Turkish club's appeal was rejected by the Court of Arbitration for Sport in Lausanne.

"The CAS has decided to dismiss the application for urgent interim measures filed by the Turkish Football Association and the club Besiktas requesting the annulment of the decision made by Uefa," the court said in a statement.

The Besiktas-Chelsea fixture was one of three games being moved from Turkey to neutral venues after a spate of bomb attacks in Istanbul in which 61 people were killed and more than 700 wounded. Besiktas need to win on Tuesday to be sure of joining Chelsea in the last 16 of the competition.

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