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FA to probe league chief's 'racist' slur

By David Cosgrove | Grassroots | Published:

FA chiefs are set to launch an investigation after a football league boss allegedly used a racist phrase at a meeting.

Mr Juggins

Neil Juggins, the chief executive of the West Midlands (Regional) League, reportedly used the phrase ‘n***** in the woodpile’ at a league summit.

Managers and club officials present said the alleged comment came as Mr Juggins addressed the room of about 100 people – with some today calling for him to resign.

A spokesman for Kick It Out, the football equality charity, confirmed the organisation had received a formal report about an incident.

An FA integrity officer interviewed some of those present, including Wellington Amateurs boss Ben Coates, earlier this week. Bosses at Shropshire County FA have also received an official complaint from one club present.

Mr Juggins’ wife Wendy – who is the league’s chairman – said he would not comment on the issue.

Dave Thompson, who is part of the backroom staff at Wolverhampton United, has called for Mr Juggins’ resignation.

Mr Thompson, who is of mixed race, said: “I think he should resign – particularly given all the work that’s going on to kick racism out of football.”

Conservative MP Anne Marie Morris has had the whip suspended after using the same offensive phrase at an event last month.

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She made the racist remark an event in London to describe the prospect of the UK leaving the EU without a deal.

Ben Coates, 41, from Wellington Amateurs, said: “The N-word is unacceptable and certainly not a word anybody should use these days.”

Wolverhampton United manager Danny Carter said: “He needs to resign.

“How can I tell my team – with four or five black players in – they’ve got to play in the league run by someone who said that.”

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Leon Murray, Tividale FC secretary, said: “I’ve known Neil a long time and am very disappointed. Quite a lot of people heard it.

“I personally don’t think Neil Juggins is a racist. But this was a disgraceful choice of words.”

Roy Waterfield, the chief executive of the Shropshire FA, confirmed they had received an official complaint.

He said: “An investigation is pending with regard to the alleged incident.”

A Kick it Out spokesman said: “We’ve now received a formal report about an incident.”

A spokesman for the national FA said the organisation is looking into what happened at the meeting.

David Cosgrove

By David Cosgrove
Deputy Chief Reporter - @davidcosgrove_

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