A footballer has received a five-match ban after The FA found him guilty of shouting “******* Jew” at Hemel Town midfielder Scott Shulton in a match earlier this year.
Following an FA hearing, Braintree Town player Billy Crook was suspended for five games from all domestic first-team football, fined, and ordered to complete an education course after the FA’s regulatory commission decided to uphold the charge against him.
The FA’s ruling against Crook, a former team-mate of Shulton’s when both played for Braintree, stated: “On the balance of probability, the commission unanimously decided that he [Crook] had used the words ‘******* Jew’ towards Mr Shulton.
“The commission unanimously considered that this language was insulting and/or abusive, and did make reference to religion, ethnic origin and/or race as it is anti-Semitic.”
Shulton, who started his career at the Watford Academy and also played for League Two side Wycombe Wanderers, Bishop’s Stortford, Hendon, and Wingate & Finchley, released a statement on his Twitter account on Monday.
He said: “Racism/anti-Semitism in football and the abuse of players, officials and fans because of their skin colour, nationality or ethnicity is sadly on the increase.
“Many of you are aware of the incident that took place on the pitch back in January against my old club Braintree with a former team-mate.
“I am pleased to say after taking it further to The FA my case has had a positive outcome after a hearing at Wembley Stadium with the accused player charged.
“I want to say a huge thanks to all the fans, players, officials and management of Hemel Town FC for standing by me.
“A big thank you to Sam at Kick It Out (football’s equality and inclusion organisation) for her amazing support as well as the PFA (Professional Footballers’ Association) and The FA.
“It’s been a long process but I felt it was so important to stand up to it, for not only myself but for others who have experienced or who will encounter it.”
Shulton has already committed to another season with the Tudors after his first campaign last term.
He signed a new contract last month.
The versatile midfielder made 30 appearances for the side in all competitions in 2017/18, scoring once, after moving from Braintree in mid-October.
The hearing heard how, following a late challenge from Shulton in the match on January 20, there was a confrontation between him and Crook.
Shulton reported to the referee that he had been subjected to the anti-Semitic slur.
Crook told the hearing he had not used the words he was accused of using.
Although there was no video evidence supporting the allegation, there was audio of Shulton saying twice “that’s racist”.
The hearing deemed this “entirely consistent with Mr Shulton having been racially abused moments before”.
Hemel won the match 2-1 but went out to Braintree in the playoffs on penalties in May.