Bury St Edmunds: Football youth coach has 20 match ban reduced to five games on appeal

Bury Town FC

Bury Town FC - Credit: Archant

A 20-match ban handed to a Suffolk youth football coach has been reduced to five matches on appeal.

Paul Ivory was working as an under-11s coach for Bury Town Football Club on June 15 at a children’s football tournament hosted by Thetford Bulldogs Football Club.

A Suffolk FA spokesman alleged that during a match between Bury and Attleborough Town an incident involving coaching staff and spectators occurred.

An investigation was launched and following witness statements the coach was charged and banned by the county’s FA for 20 matches. Bury Town Football Club was also charged following the alleged incident. A Suffolk FA spokesman said: “Both matters were considered separately by a disciplinary commission convened by Suffolk FA and sanctions which were deemed commensurate to the matters in question were handed down to both Bury Town Youth FC and Paul Ivory.

“In respect of the latter a ban from all football related activities was imposed of 20 matches plus an £80 fine.

“Paul Ivory sought to contest the sanction imposed upon him personally and exercised his right to do so by lodging an appeal with the Football Association.

“At a board of appeal convened by The FA on Wednesday the sanction imposed upon Paul Ivory was amended, by reducing the duration of his ban from all football related activities from the original sanction of 20 matches, to five matches and a £40 fine.”

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Mr Ivory declined to comment but Russell Ward, Bury Town’s chairman, defended his coach.

He said: “Paul has got the full backing of Bury Town Football Club.

“We are happy with the FA’s decision and as far as we are concerned it’s the end of the matter. The fact that the ban was reduced from 20 to five matches speaks volumes.”

No-one from Attleborough Town Football Club was available for comment.

Martin Huggins, from Stowmarket Town Football Club, was managing a team that was playing in the tournament.

He said: “I know the parents were quite upset by it and there will be a parents’ meeting on Thursday to try to reassure them.

“We are in discussions with Suffolk FA at the moment to reassure parents and work a way forward so things are safer in the future.”

A national FA spokesman said: “The reasons for the decision will be published once the appeal board chairman submits his written report to the FA.”