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Sheffield United Women player charged by FA with racist abuse of Tottenham’s Renee Hector

A formal hearing has been called over an incident of “monkey noises” directed at Hector in a FA Women’s Championship match.

Sheffield United Women v Aston Villa Ladies - The FA Women’s Championship
Sheffield United forward Sophie Jones in action against Aston Villa Ladies.
Photo by George Wood/Getty Images

In early January, after a FA Women’s Championship match between Tottenham Hotspur Ladies and Sheffield United Women, Spurs defender Renee Hector announced on Twitter that she was the victim of alleged racial abuse by a Sheffield United player. Hector clained that the then-unnamed player directed “monkey noises” at her during the match. The incident was reported to the Football Association in short order, and an investigation was held during which both clubs cooperated fully.

Now, according to the BBC and multiple other sources, Sheffield United forward Sophie Jones has been formally charged with alleged racial abuse by the FA for the incident. Jones has until February 15 to respond to the charges.

The charges are represented as a breach of Rule E3[1] (“abusive or insulting” language directed at another player) and Rule E3[2] (“Aggravated Breach” in reference to ethnic origin and/or color and/or race.) It was previously suggested by the Guardian that if found guilty Sheffield United could go as far as to sack the offending player.

Sheffield United Women released a statement in their website indicating that they are cooperating fully with the FA’s investigation and do not condone the actions of Jones.

“The Club has co-operated fully with the Football Association’s investigation throughout the subsequent weeks.

“The Club works closely with the EFL, the FA and Kick it Out and would like to reiterate that it does not condone racism or any form of discrimination.

“Sheffield United will not comment further on the subject until the conclusion of the formal FA disciplinary hearing.”

— Statement, Sheffield United Women

Tottenham Hotspur Ladies have not yet responded to the charges brought forth by the FA.