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Grant hit with touchline ban, fine

SoccerNews in English Premier League, FA Cup 4 Apr 2011

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West Ham boss Avram Grant has been handed a two-match touchline ban and a fine for comments made after his side’s FA Cup loss to Stoke City.

The Israeli manager was unhappy with referee Mike Jones after the Hammers suffered a 2-1 defeat at the Britannia Stadium on March 13.

Grant initially denied the charges and requested an independent panel to assess the allegations, but they too found him guilty.

“At an Independent Regulatory Commission Avram Grant was handed a touchline suspension for two matches and fined a total of 6,000 euros,” a FA statement said.

“The Commission found the charge of improper conduct relating to media comments proven, following remarks made in relation to match official Mike Jones in a post-match interview following West Ham United’s fixture with Stoke City at the Britannia Stadium on Sunday, 13 March 2011.”

Robert Huth opened the scoring for the Potters in the quarter-final encounter before Frederic Piquionne levelled in controversial fashion.

Stoke missed a second-half penalty through Matthew Etherington, but Danny Higginbotham struck the winner with a free-kick.

After the loss, Grant was quoted as telling The Daily Mirror: “Maybe this (Piquionne’s goal) is the reason the referee started the second half very, very strange. Until they scored the goal, he gave fouls and penalties, everything for them.”

The Hammers felt they should have had a penalty when James Tomkins appeared to be hauled down in the area, with Grant saying Jones may have ‘felt a little bit weak’.

Grant, whose team is in a relegation battle, will be in the stands for West Ham’s English Premier League games at Bolton and at home to Aston Villa.

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