‘Abused’ foot­baller at­tacks FA in­ac­tion

The Jewish Chronicle - - News - BY MAR­CUS DYSCH

A MAC­CABI Premier Divi­sion foot­baller who claims he was called “a Paki” by an op­po­nent in April is out­raged that the Lon­don FA has yet to hold a hear­ing into the in­ci­dent.

Vir­gil Levy, who is of South Amer­i­can ori­gin, also al­leges that he was called “Asian” and told that he “should not be­long in the com­mu­nity or in the league” dur­ing the game be­tween his team, Mon­tana Boca, and Glen­thorne in April.

No action was taken by the match of­fi­cials when he re­ported the abuse. But fol­low­ing an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion, Glen­thorne ex­pelled mid­fielder Ashley Ru­bin and his team-mate Jamie Cooper was fined £100 and given a se­vere warn­ing about his con­duct.

The Mac­cabi League re­ferred the mat­ter to the Lon­don FA, which this week blamed the de­lay on prob­lems iden­ti­fy­ing who was re­spon­si­ble for the al­leged abuse.

This ex­pla­na­tion did not sat­isfy Mr Levy, an in­sol­vency prac­ti­tioner. “There was a hear­ing sched­uled for July and the of­fend­ing party said he could not at­tend, so it was ad­journed. Since then noth­ing’s hap­pened.

“I suf­fered a lot of abuse at school but at the age of 29 I didn’t ex­pect it would be car­ry­ing on. It’s what ar­ro­gant young Jewish kids do th­ese days. I just have to get on with it.”

Mr Levy has not played in the league since the Glen­thorne game and has vowed not to par­tic­i­pate in any Mac­cabi sport un­til the dis­ci­plinary mat­ter is re­solved.

A Mon­tana Boca spokesman said: “What amazes us is that fines [for match of­fences] ar­rive within days and are ex­pected to be paid al­most im­me­di­ately, but a per­ti­nent is­sue like this, which is high on the gov­ern­ing body’s agenda, is not dealt with as a pri­or­ity. We fail to un­der­stand why it is tak­ing so long.”

G l e n t h o r n e rep­re­sen­ta­tives de­clined to com­ment this week. In April, Mr Ru­bin de­nied be­ing a racist, adding: “I called him a Pak­istani, not a Paki. It is mi­nor and pa­thetic.”

Con­firm­ing that two hear­ings had been ad­journed, Lon­don FA chief ex­ec­u­tive David Fowkes said: “We have had in­for­ma­tion that the wrong per­son was charged and we have now quashed that charge and raised new charges.

“We have fresh ev­i­dence against the per­son we be­lieve is the cor­rect al­leged of­fender.”

The FA at­tempted to deal with racist in­ci­dents within 28 days of a charge be­ing made, but de­lays were pos­si­ble if those fac­ing al­le­ga­tions re­quested an ad­journ­ment.

Mr Fowkes could not say when Mr Levy’s case would be con­cluded.The Mac­cabi League de­clined to com­ment on the mat­ter while it was un­der FA in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Sports Min­is­ter Gerry Sut­cliffe wrote to the Foot­ball As­so­ci­a­tion last week threat­en­ing to cut gov­ern­ment fund­ing for the sport’s grass­roots over the FA’s han­dling of is­sues in­clud­ing

racism.

Vir­gil Levy: has not played

since

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