Robson and Wright abandon fate to FA

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The Independent Online
Bryan Robson has decided not to make a personal appearance to defend himself over his clash with the referee Paul Danson, while Ian Wright has apologised "unreservedly" for criticising leading referees and left his fate to the FA disciplinary panel.

Robson, the Middlesbrough player-manager, has been charged with disrepute by the Football Association along with defenders Nigel Pearson and Neil Cox after the incident at the end of their defeat at Blackburn on 16 December. The trio have sent statements explaining their actions, but none has asked for a personal hearing.

Alan Shearer has already been cleared by the Crown Prosecution Service for alleged gestures after scoring the only goal of the game for Blackburn at Boro.

Wright, the Arsenal striker, fears he has become a target for referees this season with eight bookings, the last two in successive matches since he described them as "like little Hitlers". He could escape punishment after showing contrition when asked to explain himself by the FA.

Norwich's new manager, Gary Megson, has also been charged with bringing the game into disrepute following a row with referee Jim Rushton at Derby on New Year's Day. The official reported him for using foul and abusive language during the incident at half-time in the Canaries' 2-1 defeat.

Paul Gascoigne has landed a two-match ban later this month. The Rangers midfielder's suspension results from his part in the 11 November match with Aberdeen at Ibrox. He was given a one-match suspension after escaping action by the match referee, John Rowbotham, and was given 12 disciplinary points by the Scottish FA.

Now yellow cards in his last two matches have taken the him over the 16-point threshold for the second time since arriving from Lazio last summer.

West Ham have taken Peter Shilton, the former England goalkeeper, on a month's loan as cover for Ludek Miklosko.

n Ajax have signed winger Peter Hoekstra from PSV Eindhoven to help cover for the injured Marc Overmars, who is out for the rest of the season.

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