Hartlepool United respond to FA verdict as Craig Hignett handed two-game ban

Hartlepool United have thanked the Football Association for a ‘fair’ hearing – after the governing body dished out a two-game ban to Craig Hignett.

Monday, 7th October 2019, 6:34 pm
Updated Monday, 7th October 2019, 6:34 pm
Craig Hignett has been handed a two-game touchline ban

The Pools boss faced a disciplinary hearing at Wembley Stadium today [Monday, October 7] after being charged with using language which threatened the integrity of the match officials and was threatening in nature during the defeat to Dover Athletic.

Hignett admitted the charge but disagreed with elements of the report submitted by the officials and therefore requested a personal hearing in a bid to reduce the punishment dished out by the FA.

And the governing body found in favour of the Hartlepool chief, who has now been handed only a two-game ban – meaning he won’t be on the touchline for the National League games against Stockport County and Aldershot.

Hignett’s punishment could have been far greater, but Pools were pleased that the ‘extraordinary’ events surrounding the game were considered.

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A club statement read; “Hartlepool United can confirm that they attended a disciplinary hearing at Wembley on Monday relating to alleged misconduct by Craig Hignett during the fixture with Dover Athletic.

“As part of the charge brought against Craig, it had been suggested by the officials that he had used language which questioned their integrity and was threatening in nature.

“During what was a very difficult afternoon for Craig, he admitted to the panel that he had said things to the Referee and Fourth Official out of frustration, for which he apologised – but he vehemently denied the nature of his words as put forward by the officials.

“We are pleased that the panel found in the Club’s favour on this issue and, having accepted the misconduct charge surrounding his actual words, Craig will now begin a two-game touchline ban.

“We would like to thank The Football Association for a fair hearing and reiterate that we do not advocate swearing at referees from our staff. However, we hope that people can understand the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the fixture, which the Club has been seen to deal with in the appropriate manner.”