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Non league manager receives 12-match ban after being filmed confronting referee

Non league manager Lee Lashenko receives a 12-match ban after being filmed confronting a referee during an FA Trophy game a few months back.

The Bristol Manor Farm boss has been punished for actions towards an official which ended up with players having to hold him back.

A video was caught of the heated moment coming moments after his side’s FA Trophy defeat by Paulton Rovers on the 9th of October 2021.

Lashenko admitted abusive language but denied that his behaviour was threatening, we’ll let you be a judge of that in the clip below…

He was handed an eight-match ground ban (only applies to his side’s first-team fixtures, whether home, away or at a neutral venue), along with a four-match touchline ban and a £250 fine by the Football Association.

He will not be able return to management in a full capacity until the 16th of April when Bristol Manor Farm host Larkhall Athletic in their penultimate game of the season.

The FA’s independent Regulatory Commission found him guilty of two breaches for threatening behaviour in and/or around the field of play and for improper language and/or behaviour in and/or around the changing room.

Bristol Manor Farm issued a statement when the incident occurred, offering their “sincerest apologies” for the distress caused by the incident.

They said: “As a club, we do not condone nor encourage the type of behaviour that was displayed on Saturday, and will be taking the necessary action to ensure that this does not happen again, as this is not something that our club represents.

“We will be consulting those from Bristol Manor Farm FC that were involved with the situation accordingly, and will also work closely with the relevant governing bodies regarding the matter, where required.

“We would like to extend our wholehearted apologies to all of the players, management, committee members and the supporters, alike with the match officials who were all in attendance at Saturday’s fixture for what was witnessed.

“Since the club’s inception in 1960, our committee members and volunteers, past and present, have worked tirelessly to ensure that our football club promotes high standards of professionalism both on and off the field.

“It is with great disappointment that these standards indeed slipped on the weekend; however we will look to be able to continue to provide a warm and welcoming hospitality service again to our visitors on forthcoming match days.

“We hope that this incident does not overshadow all of the hard work that has gone into building this football club up to where it is now, and appreciate our supporters’ loyalty to the club through this time.

“The club will not make any further comments.”

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Former Premier League ref Mark Halsey was among those who commented on the footage at the time, saying: “What an absolute disgrace. Football does not need people like this involved in the game, for the good of football I hope the FA take the strongest of action possible.”

Martin Cassidy, from the charity Ref Support, who first broadcast the footage of Lashenko, says the punishment is too weak.

“We welcome the stadium ban but we feel stadium bans should be used more often as the perpetrators of this unacceptable behaviour can’t sit in stadiums and cause similar trouble,” Cassidy told Bristol Live.

“However, we still think the punishment is another weak one from the FA, that sends out the message that this behaviour is one that the FA do not seem to be taking seriously enough.

“Interestingly managers at the same level of football have been banned for years for betting on their own games. That tells me the FA take breaking betting rules more seriously than the abuse of match officials.

“In our opinion the FA’s disciplinary procedures, policies and processes are not fit for the modern game and need to be revisited.”

Bristol Manor Farm’s club official Vaughan Rickard was also found in breach of FA Rule E3 during the same incident and has been reprimanded and fined £25.

Social media users reacted as the non league manager receives a 12-match ban after being filmed confronting the referee…

@boundarymike: I do wish these type of punishments can be issued at grassroots level too. Sick&tired of coaches thinking they can overrule and intimidate young referees.. soon they’ll be no young referees coming through 😞

@markrmayhew: What an arsehole.

@paulcarver1971: To be fair that punishment is better than I thought it would be. Sends out a message and he won’t be doing that again in a hurry. Thank god for camera phones. Hope he can reflect on his actions.

@venny1976: How can admit the offensive language but deny threatening demeanour! It’s clear for all to see, and surely he must have watched this video several times as well!! Awaiting the appeal and it reduced to a “suspended sentence” type punishment.

@GarethH04231834: So now we know why the delay – ind. hearing due to denying part of the charge. 12 game ban must be within the tariffs set out by the FA, whether suitable to send a message, IMHO, don’t think so. But, that’s the current rules and maybe it will deter. Hope ref is okay?

@brendonvbone: Weak but totally expected.

@tjacksonpfc: Now he’s been found guilty let’s hope @ManorFarmFC do the correct thing and remove him as their manager.

@grassrootsrefJa: Sadly not a shock, can only imagine the ban if it was the other way round. @ManorFarmFC need to sack him now

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