Belfast Telegraph

Scottish footballer Kirk Broadfoot gets 10-match ban for sectarian abuse against James McClean

Scottish footballer Kirk Broadfoot has been handed a 10-match ban for a sectarian tirade of abuse against Londonderry's James McClean - the longest ban for verbal abuse in English football history.

A misconduct charge against the Rotherham defender was found proven by the Football Association.

The incident occurred during a Sky Bet Championship clash between the Millers and Wigan on March 14 of this year.

An Independent Regulatory Commision hearing deemed the Scot had "used abusive/and or insulting words towards a member of the opposition, in breach of FA Rule E3(1)."

An FA statement added: "It was further alleged that the breach was an 'Aggravated Breach' as defined by Rule E3(2)."

Broadfoot, 30, an ex-Glasgow Rangers player ,was also fined £7,500 and ordered to complete an education programme.

It is reported that the incident involved James McClean, recently transferred to West Brom, with Broadfoot unhappy at the award of a free-kick which he felt the Republic of Ireland international had dived to win.

Wigan scored from the resulting free-kick, and after that game Broadfoot told the Sheffield Star: "He's cheating. That is cheating. I am nowhere near him and he's diving."

The Mirror reports that Rotherham and the FA have refused to comment on the ban because of a "strict confidentiality agreement" that prohibits anyone connected to the case making any comment on it, reportedly due to fears of a risk to the parties involved if details were revealed.

James McClean is facing an uncertain future at West Brom after turning away from the cross of St George flag while the British national anthem was being played prior to a friendly in the United States.

Tony Pulis this week warned him that another show of disrespect for the English flag will not be tolerated. He has yet to play a competitive game for West Brom.

Broadfoot's ban is a record for verbal abuse in English football, beating the eight games handed to Luis Suarez when he was found guilty of racially abusing Patrice Evra in December 2011.

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