Former Rangers defender Kirk Broadfoot has been handed a 10 game ban from the English FA after aiming a tirade of sectarian abuse at Republic of Ireland international James McClean.
The incident took place during last season’s Championship clash between Rotherham United and Wigan Athletic on March 14th – which Wigan won 2-1.
According to the Rotherham Advertiser, Broadfoot was summoned to the FA to face charges relating to sectarianism and was subsequently found guilty of aiming sectarian abuse at the Irishman, with the governing body imposing one of its longest ever bans following an on-pitch flashpoint.
A statement published by the FA on their official website, read: “Following an Independent Regulatory Commission hearing, Rotherham United’s Kirk Broadfoot will serve an immediate 10-match suspension after a misconduct charge against him was found proven.
“The charge was that during a league fixture between Rotherham and Wigan Athletic on March 14 2015 Broadfoot used abusive and/or insulting words towards a member of the opposition, in breach of FA Rule E3(1).
“It was further alleged that the breach was an “Aggravated Breach” as defined by Rule E3(2). Broadfoot was also fined £7,500 and ordered to complete an education programme.”
A breach of Rule E3(1) is: an “Aggravated Breach” where it includes a reference, whether express or implied, to any one or more of the following :- ethnic origin, colour, race, nationality, religion or belief, gender, gender reassignment, sexual orientation or disability.
At the time both players were shown a yellow card by referee James Linington, after Broadfoot gave away a free kick following a challenge on the Irishman. Broadfoot had claimed McClean dived to win the free kick – which Wigan scored from.
Despite the ban being imposed, due to a “strict confidentiality clause” the details of the actual commeents cannot be publicised by either party connected to the matter.
Tom Sharpe of the Rotherham Advertiser, claimed that the confidentiality order was ‘put in place due to a perceived risk to the parties involved if details of the case entered the public domain’.
James McClean – who now plays for West Bromwich Albion – has been in the news in recent years over his refusal to wear a poppy and last week when he turned his back on the English flag and refused to sing God Save the Queen during a match as part of West Brom’s US pre-season tour.
Rotherham United signed Broadfoot on a two-year contract in June 2014 after he left Blackpool.