Published: 05:00, 02 November 2021
| Updated: 19:52, 02 November 2021
A non-league player has been banned for seven games after being found guilty of using a homophobic slur against an opponent.
Andre Trenton, who plays for Snodland Town in Southern Counties East Division 1, denied a charge of improper conduct, aggravated by the use of the word “f*****” - one which the club and the accused insisted was actually “maggot”.
He was charged by the Kent FA over the incident which occurred in an FA Vase qualifying match against Westside on September 11 and found guilty at a non-personal hearing on the balance of probability.
Referee Fabian Robertson claimed he heard the remark of “f*****” after an exchange of words between players and it was his evidence, along with the witness statement of Westside’s Ayman Dahdouh who backed up the claim, that was part of the decision making process.
Mr Robertson could have sent the player off at the time but no action was taken. He admitted he should have dealt with the situation differently.
Snodland Town, in their defence of the player, said that the referee “reported a biased version of an exchange of words” and noted there was a 13-day delay from the alleged incident to email correspondence between the Kent FA and Mr Robertson in relation to his account which they say rendered the evidence unreliable.
The referee said he was “quite certain” about what he heard.
The chair for the hearing, Elliott Kenton, was of the belief that the word “f*****” was used, having been satisfied that it was “more likely than not that” the player made the comments to the effect of “shut the **** up, you ******* f*****.”
Mr Trenton was also hit with a £75 fine and ordered to take part in an online education programme, while the club were subjected to five penalty points to their disciplinary total.
The player denied the charges throughout and was backed by the club. There is a right of appeal against the decision.