Soccer star quits sport after being banned for racial abuse
Sophie Jones, the footballer who received a five-game ban after being found guilty of racially abusing an opponent, has quit the sport after claiming her trial was heard in a “kangaroo court.”
The Sheffield United Women’s player, whose contract with the club was terminated by mutual consent on Wednesday, was alleged to have made “monkey noises” toward Tottenham’s Renee Hector during a match on January 6.
In a statement published Wednesday, the English Football Association confirmed that the forward had also received a £200 fine ($263) and ordered to attend an education course.
Hector made the allegation in a social media post following her side’s 2-1 win over Sheffield United.
“We welcome the decision made by the FA and that the appropriate action has been taken. There is no place for any sort of discriminatory language or behavior in football,” Tottenham ladies said in a tweet.
Jones issued a statement after the verdict was announced in which she criticized the FA’s handling of the case, adding she would no longer continue playing.
“It is with a heavy heart that I feel I am unable to continue within football and play under an organization that I do not have any confidence in,” she said.
“I would like to state on record that I do not condone racism in any form and I will continue to stand by this statement.
“I strongly stand firm that I am not guilty with regards to the charge that the FA have brought against me.”
Reacting to the news on Twitter, Tottenham’s Hector welcomed the verdict and thanked those who had supported her since the incident.
“There is no place for racism in our game. A zero tolerance policy is imperative in stamping this out from football therefore I welcome this verdict,” she said.
“No one should be subjected to racist abuse on or off the pitch and I felt a responsibility to call it out for what it was.
“I want to now concentrate on the last five games of the FAWC and trying to secure promotion with Spurs. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout this process.”
Sheffield United, which plays Tottenham in its next match on Sunday, confirmed Jones’ departure in a statement.
“The club works closely with the English Football League, the FA and Kick it Out and would like to reiterate that it does not condone racism or any form of discrimination,” it added.