FA bans Beardsley 32 weeks for racist insults

Former Newcastle United Under-23s coach Peter Beardsley has been suspended for 32 weeks by the Football Association (FA) after he was found guilty on three counts of offensive language towards the club's U23 players, the FA said on Thursday.

Beardsley, a former England international and league winner with Liverpool, had been suspended since January last year after he was accused of bullying academy midfielder Yasin Ben El-Mhanni, who was 22 at the time.

Beardsley was also alleged to have called a player of African origin a "monkey" and had questioned the legitimacy of the age of one or more players of African origin, one of whom was 17.

"An independent Regulatory Commission has suspended Peter Beardsley from all football and football-related activity for a period of 32 weeks until 29 April 2020," the FA said in a statement.

"The FA alleged that Mr Beardsley used abusive and/or insulting words, which were contrary to FA Rule E3(1) and constituted an "aggravated breach"... due to reference of ethnic origin and/or colour and/or race and/or nationality, while employed as a coach of the club's Under-23s team."

The 58-year-old denied the accusations of bullying at the time and again at a public-speaking event in March but the FA said the claims were proven based on findings of the club's disciplinary proceedings.

Beardsley, who left the club in March, was also ordered by the FA to undergo a "face-to-face education course."