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Sheffield United Women forward Sophie Jones has been banned by the FA for five games and fined £200 after being deemed guilty of directing racial abuse at Tottenham player Renée Hector during a Women's Championship fixture in January.

Jones, who denied the charge, has also had her Sheffield United contract mutually terminated.

Hector had tweeted after the game in question, "Such a shame that racism seems to be rising up again in football - I received some monkey noises today from an opposition player."

The alleged incident was reported to the referee by the Hector during the game, as well as also later reported to the FA by Tottenham.

Relaying the verdict of the investigation, an FA statement on Wednesday afternoon read, "Sophie Jones has been given a five-match suspension with immediate effect after an 'Aggravated Breach' of FA Rule E3(1) was found proven by an Independent Regulatory Commission.

"The Sheffield United FC Women's player denied a charge of using abusive and/or insulting words – that included reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race - towards an opponent during an FA Women's Championship fixture against Tottenham Hotspur Ladies on 06 January 2019.

"The forward was also fined £200 and ordered to attend an FA education course."


Sheffield United acknowledged the outcome, explaining in a statement of their own, "Jones has been found guilty of the charge and as a result has received the sanctions of a five match suspension, a fine of £200 and asked to attend an FA Inclusion and Diversity Workshop. Jones maintains her innocence and is disappointed with the FA's decision.

"The Club works closely with the EFL, the FA and Kick it Out and would like to reiterate that it does not condone racism or any form of discrimination.

"Following dialogue between the Club and Jones, and taking into account the length of the suspension, it has been decided that her contract, which was due for review in the summer, will be terminated by mutual agreement."

Tottenham "welcome the decision made by the FA and that the appropriate action has been taken. There is no place for any sort of discriminatory language or behaviour in football."

Hector also tweeted following the news, commenting," There is no place for racism in our game.

"A zero tolerance policy is imperative in stamping this out from football, therefore I welcome this verdict. No one should be subjected to racist abuse on or off the pitch and I felt a responsibility to call it out for what it was."

With five games of the season remaining, Tottenham lead the Women's Championship ahead of Manchester United, while Sheffield United sit eighth in the 11-team league.