Barrow manager Mark Cooper was handed an eight-match ban after he was found in breach of the FA Rule E3 after he referenced the gender of the assistant referee. The incident took place during their match against Exeter in League Two. He was sent off by Andrew Kitchen after comments towards Helen Edwards.

“It was alleged that the manager (Cooper) 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,” the FA statement read regarding comments made by Barrow manager Mark Cooper. “Mark Cooper denied these allegations but an independent Regulatory Commission subsequently found them to be proven and imposed his sanctions, which remain subject to appeal, after reviewing the available evidence. The written reasons for their decisions will be published in due course.”

“The club is aware of the decision made by the FA Regulatory Commission in the case of our manager, Mark Cooper,” Barrow said in a statement. “Mark is obviously disappointed by the decision. Neither he nor the club has yet received the reasons for the decision, which will be considered with a view to appeal in due course. I honestly didn’t hear what he said or what went [on] through it all. I looked around and all of a sudden there was a red card out. I didn’t see or hear because I was organizing lads off the pitch.”

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