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Gillingham manager Neil Harris handed one-match touchline ban and £1,000 fine after red card at Portsmouth


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Gillingham manager Neil Harris will watch the first game back in League 2 from the stands after being handed a touchline ban.

Harris was sent off in the penultimate game of the season, at Portsmouth last month, by referee Darren Drysdale.

Gills boss Neil Harris red card is shown a red card at Portsmouth by referee Darren Drysdale. Picture: KPI
Gills boss Neil Harris red card is shown a red card at Portsmouth by referee Darren Drysdale. Picture: KPI

It means he starts the 2022/23 season - which gets under way on July 30 - with a one-match touchline ban.

The FA said: "Gillingham FC's Neil Harris has been banned from the touchline for one match and fined £1,000 following a breach of FA Rule E3 during their EFL League One match against Portsmouth FC on Saturday 23 April 2022.

"The manager admitted that his language and behaviour during added time of the first half was abusive, insulting, and improper, and he accepted the standard penalty."

The Gills boss was angered by Portsmouth's second goal in a 3-1 defeat for his side.

Speaking after the Portsmouth game, Harris said: “I take full responsibility for the red card.

“The way I tried to approach the referee was probably wrong but the FA and officials have to realise what is at stake. We are talking about staying in the division, we are talking about a key moment, playing overtime that affects our whole season, it affects 1,200 fans who travel around the country and affects our livelihoods.

"Officials can go home and be happy and get on with it, ‘did we make an error, or not? It doesn’t matter does it?’ It does matter. I am the manager of Gillingham Football Club, it does matter, they let us down.

“If I am aggressive in my nature, if I step on the pitch and use foul and abusive language, then in the heat of the moment, then I have to accept my punishment.

“I can’t change my passion and desire, my winning mentality. I just want people to do their jobs. We didn’t do it as a team, we conceded poor goals, officials didn’t do it in their jobs and we lose a game of football.”

Gills were relegated on the final day of the season, losing 2-0 to Rotherham at Priestfield. They won just once in their last nine games.

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