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FA 'seeking observations' from Sunderland over Moyes slap threat

The Football Association will speak to David Moyes to get his version of events after the Sunderland manager threatened to "slap" a female BBC reporter.

Moyes said he "profoundly regrets" making the comments after taking offence at a question from BBC Newcastle and Radio Five Live reporter Vicki Sparks last month.

An FA spokesman said: "We are seeking observations from the club."

It will speak to Moyes to get his version of what happened after Sparks interviewed him following the 0-0 Premier League draw with Burnley.

At a news conference ahead of his side's game against Leicester, Moyes said: "In the heat of the moment, I made a mistake in my comments to a BBC reporter, which I profoundly regret. I was disappointed with myself for it.

"I subsequently phoned the reporter and apologised, which she accepted.

"It's not my character, it's not my type, as most people know and, once again, I apologise for it."

His initial comments were condemned by Gary Lineker, the shadow sports minister Dr Rosena Allin-Khan and the domestic violence charity Wearside Women in Need.

Lineker said it was "inexcusable" and demonstrated the disdain some managers had for interviews.

Dr Allin-Khan tweeted: "David Moyes cannot get away with these sexist threats - the @FA must take action immediately."

Clare Phillipson of Wearside Women In Need agreed, saying: "It is for the FA to set a clear standard about what they think is acceptable. It was dreadful, absolutely appalling."

Women In Football, a network of professional women working in the industry, said the FA should educate football managers "against this type of behaviour".

Moyes said his employers have known about the issue for two weeks.

The incident started when Sparks asked him if the presence of owner Ellis Short had meant his job at the relegation-threatened club was under more pressure.

Video footage published by The Daily Star shows the Scot answering, "No, none at all" before the interview drew to a close.

However, thinking he was off camera, he then added: "You were just getting a wee bit naughty at the end there, so just watch yourself. You still might get a slap even though you're a woman.

"Careful the next time you come in."

Both Moyes and Sparks laughed during the exchange and the reporter did not make a complaint.

Asked at the news conference if he was sexist, Moyes replied: "No. I think people who know me would say that and as I said in the heat of the moment, I used the wrong words."

The BBC confirmed Moyes and Sparks had spoken since and the matter was resolved.

A spokesman said: "Mr Moyes has apologised to our reporter and she has accepted his apology."


From Belfast Telegraph