Robson charged

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The Independent Online
The Football Association said yesterday there has been no attempt to cover up the fact that the Middlesbrough manager, Bryan Robson, has been charged with bringing the game into disrepute.

Robson's disagreement with referee Paul Danson following his side's defeat at Blackburn on 16 December, when the Leicester official sent off the defender Derek Whyte and disallowed a penalty claim, is potentially embarrassing for the FA, as Robson is part of the England coaching team under Terry Venables.

However its spokesman, Steve Double, confirming the charge yesterday, denied suggestions that the FA had tried to deal with the issue in secret.

The Robson charge took 10 days to come to light following Danson's official report which was received by the FA on 21 December. But Double said: "There is no question of a cover-up. If there had been a press inquiry on the day Bryan Robson was charged we would have responded to it, but it is not our policy to announce charges as a kind of blacklist bulletin.

"It does not matter who it is, the first thing we do is write to the people involved and ask them for their observations. There is always a certain delay where a referee informs us by post of an incident he deems worthy of report."

Robson, charged in company with two of his players - Nigel Pearson and Neil Cox, who are also reported to have confronted Danson - could be suspended, fined or banned from the manager's zone on the touchline if found guilty.