Roberts could face ban
PUBLISHED: 08:00 29 June 2004 | UPDATED: 18:02 24 February 2010
IWAN Roberts could be charged with bringing the game into disrepute and miss the start of the new season - even before he has signed for a new club, writes Derek Davis.
IWAN Roberts could be charged with bringing the game into disrepute and miss the start of the new season – even before he has signed for a new club, writes Derek Davis.
The former Norwich City striker is recovering from a minor operation to remove a cancerous lump and that has put his proposed move to Gillingham – Ipswich Town's opening day opponents – on hold.
Roberts may find himself in hot water with the FA after admitting in his autobiography 'All I want for Christmas…' that he waited two years before deliberately stamping on Wolves defender Kevin Muscat as revenge for the Australian's tackle that seriously injured Craig Bellamy.
In his book Roberts admitted after the two players went down from a challenge, and with the referee looking away, he stamped on Muscat's back.
Roberts said: "I have always said that if you get a chance to get a bit of retribution then I think you've got to take it and that was an ideal opportunity for me to do it sort of 'accidentally'. It was definitely intentional. He had fallen down and I thought, 'Well, I've got to jump over him'."
"Off the pitch, he is a smashing fella. We were in Australia that year because I had gone to see a mate of mine who played at Leicester with me. We had gone to the hotel because they had World Cup qualifying games or something and he was the only one who came up and shook my hand and everything, and I thought 'Fair play to you'. But as soon as he crosses that white line he just changes. He is probably one of the most hated men in football."
Roy Keane was given a five-match ban and fined £150,000 by the FA after admitting in his autobiography that he had gone out to injure Manchester City player Alf-Inge Haaland in April 2001. That challenge may not bear much comparison with Roberts' indiscretion, but the former City striker says he is prepared to face an inquiry should the FA take it up.
He told the EADT's sister paper the Eastern Daily Press: "There is the possibility that something might come of it.
"They can look at my disciplinary record – I have been sent off twice in my career. One was for Wales for a ridiculous thing and the one for Leicester I deserved. I'm not a nasty player. I would be surprised if they (the FA) do anything, but if they do, I'll deal with that."
Roberts also reveals in his book, which comes out on Saturday, that he was involved in the player power move that prompted Bryan Hamilton's resignation from Carrow Road.
Norwich were close to the foot of the table and had lost five successive games in December 2001 when one-time Northern Ireland boss Hamilton fell on his sword.