Tuesday, July 20, 2010

On May 5th, following a violence filled weekend in English football, we blogged about the Boreham Wood-Kingstonian Ryman League Premier Division Play-off Final.

The match saw a Boreham Wood thug come on the pitch and punch Kingstonian captain Francis Duku in the face, when the game was scoreless. With the visitors shaken, Boreham Wood soon took the lead and then added a second when Kingstonian were forced to push forward to look for an equaliser.

Boreham Wood's fans have a history of thuggery and Kingstonian immediately launched an appeal, seeking either a replay or Boreham Wood to be denyed promotion. It was always unlikely to succeed unfortunately, as the FA don't show a lot of bottle in this regards at the best of times.

Kingstonian finally received a reply to their appeal today. An unacceptable two and a half months after the incident took place. Here's what they received from the FA:

Further to your letter dates 3rd May to Tarik Shamel, I write to advise you that the Football Association has conducted a full investigation into the incidents reported in your letter and the match referee's report.

The FA has taken into account Boreham Wood FC's preparations and planning for the above match, noting that the club deployed 14 stewards and that police officers were also present in the ground.

We have noted that the offender who assaulted the Kingstonian player was arrested by police and has been banned by Boreham Wood FC for life. Further, that after the incident, police and stewards were sent to the area where the assault occurred to show a presence and no further incident occurred.

In the light of the experience at this match, The FA has given some operational advice for Boreham Wood FC to consider when stating a promotion play-off final or similar high-profile match.

As part of our investigation, The FA has also viewed the club's CCTV video footage of the alleged incident with the Kingstonian coach driver and does not see any case to answer on that incident.

After a full review of the facts in this case, The FA has decided not to take any further action in this matter. Boreham Wood FC have been advised that we may have to consider disciplinary action against the club if further reports of spectator misconduct should be received.

Yours sincerely,
Chris Whalley
Senior Manager, Stadia Safety and Security

The FA has clearly shat out of taking a stand here against a club with a fanbase with a history of trouble.

They're probably thinking that with it being small, non league sides that no-one will really give a toss but that's why we want to play our part in highlighting their pitiful attitude and response. By waiting so long to respond to the appeal, nothing else could happen with regards to replaying the match but I would have expected some punishment, whether financial, in points or status, for Boreham Wood.

What message does this give out? That it's ok for a fan to come on the pitch and potentially influence the outcome of a game? If this happened in the Premiership I'm sure we'd have seen a different response and wouldn't have waited over two months for it.

It's totally unacceptable that Boreham Wood get away from this situation without any punishment at all. It will be interesting to see Kingstonian's official response to the pathetic appeal response. They've acted with class throughout the whole proceedings so far.

The FA have clearly lived up to their initials here. The real justice in all of this is if Kingstonian can get promoted to the Conference South this season and pass Boreham Wood on their way down as they do it.

Hopefully they can. I'm hoping to take in the K's game against Hendon on November 22nd on my planned football travels. Would be nice to see them at the top of the table.


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