Barrow manager Mark Cooper banned for gender reference to assistant referee | Barrow

Barrow’s manager, Mark Cooper, has been given an eight-match touchline ban for a breach of FA Rule E3 after he was found to have made reference to gender during an exchange with an assistant referee.

The incident took place during Barrow’s League Two fixture with Exeter in August when Cooper was sent off by the referee, Andrew Kitchen, for apparent comments made to his colleague Helen Edwards.

Cooper denied the allegations but an independent regulatory commission found them to be proven and handed the 53-year-old the ban, fined him £3,000 and ordered him to attend a face-to-face education course. He has the right to appeal.

An FA statement said: “It was alleged that the manager used abusive and/or insulting words in the 91st minute, which are contrary to FA Rule E3.1, and that these words constitute an ‘aggravated breach’, as defined in FA Rule E3.2 as they included a reference, whether express or implied, to gender.”

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Barrow, who are five points clear of the relegation zone with 15 games remaining, said: “Mark is obviously disappointed by the decision. Neither he nor the club have yet received the reasons for the decision, which will be considered with a view to appeal in due course.”

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