Beardsley charged with racially abusing young footballers

London (AFP) –


Former Newcastle coach and England international Peter Beardsley has been charged by the Football Association with racially abusing youth-team players.

The 58-year-old, whose departure from the Premier League club was confirmed earlier this month after he was placed on leave while an investigation into bullying was carried out, has been charged with three breaches of FA rules.

"It is alleged Mr Beardsley used abusive and/or insulting words towards Newcastle United FC Under-23 players... whilst employed as their coach," said a statement from the FA.

"It is further alleged these words also constituted an 'aggravated breach'... as they included reference to ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality."

Beardsley, who made more than 300 appearances for Newcastle in two spells, has until April 12 to respond.

A formal complaint was made about Beardsley by midfielder Yasin Ben El-Mhanni, who has since left the club, in January last year.

Beardsley has denied the allegations.

"I'm not a bully, and I'm not a racist," he said at a public speaking event in Gateshead this month.

A statement by his solicitors, released when his period of leave began in January 2018, at the time Newcastle launched their investigation, said: "Peter Beardsley categorically denies the allegations. It is hoped the investigation will conclude quickly."