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Havant manager Paul Doswell was banned for six games after calling Ebbsfleet boss Dennis Kutrieb a "German c***", FA document reveals

The Football Association have released details about the showdown between Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb and Havant boss Paul Doswell.

The duo first clashed in February 2021 when they both saw red during a National League South clash that was played behind closed doors at Havant.

Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb - was insulted by Havant boss Paul Doswell. Picture: Chris Davey
Ebbsfleet manager Dennis Kutrieb - was insulted by Havant boss Paul Doswell. Picture: Chris Davey

It was a fiery affair with an additional three red cards on the pitch, although Fleet’s Chris Solly subsequently won an appeal against his dismissal.

In December, the FA said Doswell had been handed a six-match ban and was ordered to attend a face-to-face FA education course after a breach of FA rules E3.1 and E3.2.

The charge stated "Breach of FA Rule E3.1 - It is alleged that in or around the 42nd minute of the fixture, the Participant’s language and/or behaviour was abusive and/or insulting and/or improper, contrary to Rule E3.1. It is further alleged that this breach of FA Rule E3.1 is an "Aggravated Breach" as defined in Rule E3.2, as it included a reference (express or implied) to nationality."

Now details of the regulatory commission which heard Doswell’s case have been published on the FA website. The investigation was prompted by the assistant referee's report on the incident.

The commission heard that it was alleged in or around the 42nd minute the assistant referee heard Doswell imitating Kutrieb saying “unbelievable man” in a German accent and then called him a “t***”.

It was claimed by Doswell in his defence that Kutrieb responded by saying “I’m going to f*** your mother” to which Doswell replied that his mother was dead. Doswell then called Kutrieb a “German c***” and as matters became heated the word “c***” could be heard several times.

In Kutrieb’s initial observations on February 17, 2021, the commission noted that there was no mention of the remark about Doswell’s mother.

On February 25, 2021, Doswell admitted calling Kutrieb a “German c***” on a number of occasions and said it was in the heat of the moment because of comments about his mother, whom he had not seen for nine months owing to the pandemic.

Doswell expressed regret at his own actions but observed that he had never before been spoken to in such a way in all of his years in football.

On November 6, 2021, Kutrieb said that Doswell stated “f*** you” and “f*** you, you silly c***” and that he responded by saying “Your mother is a silly c***”. Doswell then began to insult him by reference to his German nationality.

It is worth pointing out Kutrieb was not charged or reprimanded by the FA and he co-operated fully with their investigation into Doswell's behaviour.

Doswell told the commission that he was not proud of his actions, however in 25 years and across 1,500 matches no-one had ever spoken to him in the way that Kutrieb had.

Doswell admitted the breach. The commission said Doswell was clear, consistent and compelling in his account while Kutrieb had provided two inconsistent accounts.

The commission found the aggravating features were Doswell’s repeated use of “German c***”, he admitted using this several times. The breach took place in front of players, officials and staff while as Doswell acknowledged, he should have known better than to react the way he did given his profile and responsibility as first-team manager. The commission did not find the other listed, or any, aggravating factors to be present.

The commission found a number of mitigating factors, including Doswell’s early acceptance of the breach and his co-operation with the FA and they gave credit to his previous good record.

However, the FA website does reveal that Doswell admitted a charge in November 2016 of a breach of FA Rule E3 when manager of Sutton which saw him given a one-match touchline ban and a £250 fine.

The commission also noted his remorse over the incident with Kutrieb, expressed by him as “embarrassment and regret” at finding himself before them. It was noted that Doswell “did not appear to be particularly sorry to have insulted” Kutrieb but rather “regretted the manner in which he had done so”.

The FA made it plain provocation can never be a justification for a finding of reduced seriousness in a reference to nationality and the commission agreed with this.

They found the insult was “made in the heat of the moment, in intensely emotional circumstances” and was short-lived.

The standard minimum for rule E3.1 is an immediate suspension of six matches, and the FA were satisfied that nothing more than the standard minimum sanction was necessary. Doswell was banned from all domestic club football until Havant completed six matches, a suspension that he has now served.

The duo also clashed following Ebbsfleet's home match with Havant in September, which the Hawks won 2-1.

There was clearly bad blood between the pair. Doswell was seen in long conversation with referee Richie Watkins both at half-time and after the full-time whistle while Kutrieb ‘shook hands’ with members of the Havant management team - except Doswell - after the game.

Ebbsfleet, including manager Kutrieb, were still on the field when Doswell finished talking to the official and there then appeared to be an incident between both parties, which left the Fleet boss visibly angry.

Speaking after that game, Kutrieb said: “It’s tough for me to speak about it.

“Last season we experienced at their place some bad things and other authorities dealt with it or are trying to deal with it at the moment. I don’t want to say too much but it happened again.

“That’s really hard to take because if we win or lose that’s easy for me. Of course, I hate losing but I can take it because we played a good game. But all other things are not for me and it’s not football. It’s (about being a) human being and behaving in the right way.

“I see every player taking the knee and everyone is aware of it and you talk about it, but as long as you have people that don’t care about it then you don’t need to do it from my point of view."

The teams met again in National League South last Saturday with Havant running out 4-2 winners to put a dent in the Fleet's promotion aspirations.

In the summer of 2021, Doswell backed his club’s stance after a matchday volunteer was relieved of all Havant duties following social media posts directed at England players Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and Bukayo Saka following the Euro 2020 final penalty shoot-out defeat to Italy.

Doswell told The News in July: “I 100 per cent agreed with the club’s statement. We talked to the players about the statement.

“I applaud the quickness in which the board got the statement out - it’s been well received.

“From our perspective, it’s disappointing that it happened, but the response has been swift and we just don’t stand for it. In this day and age it’s ridiculous."

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