English FA launches appeal, wants longer ban for coach

LONDON (AP) — The governing body of English soccer appealed Monday against the sanction imposed by an independent panel on a lower-league manager banned for 15 months for using discriminatory language toward his players.

The Football Association said it believes “a longer sanction is appropriate” for John Yems, the former manager of fourth-tier club Crawley Town.

Yems admitted to one charge and was found guilty of 11 others relating to comments made from 2019-22 that referenced ethnic origin, color, race, nationality, religion, belief or gender. Among the evidence heard by a disciplinary panel set up by the FA, Yems was found to have used Islamophobic language, as well as racial slurs and stereotypes toward black players.

Yet the panel sided with Yems’ lawyers, who argued he was “not a conscious racist” and did not “ever intend to make racist remarks.”

Last week, the FA, which brought a total of 16 charges of discrimination against Yems, said it “fundamentally disagreed” with the panel’s findings. It has been pushing for a two-year ban.

The governing body said it would not comment further until the appeal is complete.

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