Former Canary faces FA probe

FORMER football star Chris Sutton faced an FA disciplinary inquiry last night after storming on to the pitch during a youth game in which his son was playing and confronting the 16-year-old referee.

FORMER football star Chris Sutton faced an FA disciplinary inquiry last night after storming on to the pitch during a youth game in which his son was playing and confronting the 16-year-old referee.

The Norfolk County Football Association confirmed the �10m rated ex-Norwich City striker and England international had been reported for misconduct by the young referee, and that a charge would be brought.

Mr Sutton was not available for comment last night.

The game - between two under 14 year old sides from Sheringham - was being run under the auspices of the Respect programme, which is designed to combat unacceptable behaviour in the game at all levels, both on the pitch and from the sidelines.


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The charge comes after the game between Sheringham Youth and Sheringham Warriors last Sunday boiled over when a penalty was awarded against the Warriors.

Norfolk County FA football administration officer Richard King said in a statement: “We have had a referee's report and other reports about the match Chris Sutton attended last weekend.

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“He has been reported for misconduct by the referee.

“In due course on the basis of what we have received, a charge will be levied against Mr Sutton.

“He will have the opportunity to respond to the charge in line with FA disciplinary procedures.

“Depending on the response from Mr Sutton the County FA has the power to take what action they feel is appropriate in relation to the charge.

“Parents of children registered with youth clubs are considered to be part of the club.”

A parent who was watching the game said a penalty was awarded for a foul on Mr Sutton's son.

The penalty, said the parent, was given six minutes before time by the teenage referee - and was the correct decision.

But Mr Sutton went on to the field to remonstrate with the referee because he also wanted the player sent off.

A verbal altercation ensued, which included swearing in front of the under 14s playing the game, added the parent.

After concerns the match might be called off if Mr Sutton did not leave the field of play, including discussion between the referee and a league official who was at the scene, the situation was resolved and the game finished 5-3 in favour of the Warriors.

The parent who witnessed the incident added last night, that considering this game was being run under the Respect rules he felt someone like Chris Sutton should have set an example.

This type of incident was not uncommon at youth level, added the parent: “The managers and coaches understand, they know to keep their mouths shut. It is the parents who are ruining it.”

Mr Sutton had a successful playing career with Norwich in the early 1990s, scoring 43 league and cup goals in 127 appearances including the famous UEFA Cup win over Bayern Munich in 1993, and attracted a then record transfer deal of �5m when he moved to Blackburn, where he found success and further fame.

The 36 year old moved to Chelsea for �10m, had a relatively short stay, and then a successful move north of the border to Celtic in 2000. He finished his career back in England with Birmingham and Aston Villa.

He won one England cap in 1997. He now lives in north Norfolk.

Last night Chris Sutton declined to comment.

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